So, three days later, I did make the four hour drive to Boy Scout camp to see George and Noah. Waiting those three days was harder than I could have thought, and I was so thankful to have had Troy and Kaleb with me for that week.
Kaleb, as his cute, adorable, funny, sweet little self, was a fantastic distractor, but Troy? Troy was a different story. Troy was amazing, and I will always be so grateful for his reassuring me when I wanted to run right up there:
Mom, of course they don’t like Boys Scout camp. Nobody. LIKES. Boy Scout camp. There are bugs and rain and port-o-potties and you just wait to come home.
What??? I was shocked. How could he have not liked Boy Scout camp? He had gone for years!
No, mom! We like getting merit badges. We like hanging out. We like learning new things and meeting new people, He laughed, but camp itself.
“What else is there to camp,” I wondered but didn’t ask.
It’s okay mom. They’ll be fine.
And none of this was said in his obnoxious big brother tone (yes, he can definitely be that obnoxious big brother too, but I Love him anyway! 😉 )
Finally, Wednesday arrived. The boys’ father was coming that evening to take Troy and Kaleb out for his weekly dinner so I made the trip alone. Four hours driving through some of the most beautiful country God gave man. Four hours during which I listened to Christian music on the radio, meditated over the Rosary on the Laudate app, and prayed quietly for my boys, the other children at the camp, and, as always, my special intention, the children of single parents.
I don’t get a block of time to myself like that and, while I would have liked to bring Kaleb, I also kind of enjoyed my time alone. (Can you read the guilt in that?)
Anyway, I made the drive four hours up to camp and pulled in to the parking lot and saw Noah right away.
Noah, Noah I called leaning out the car window.
Noah grinned like he was happier to see me than he had ever been to see anyone in the world! He dashed to the car, jumped up through the car window, and clung to me through the car window.
I told him I needed to park and then we could spend the rest of the day together.
Noah jumped down with a grin,
Thanks mom, but I’m about to go out on kayaks with Dan and Adan. I’ll see you later.
By the time I parked the car, Noah was nowhere to be seen.
I grinned as I gathered my things – my camera, cell phone, keys, lip gloss (yep, I did have lip gloss! 😉 ) and an extra large tray of homemade cookies.
I guess I didn’t need to have worried I’d been about that kid! It seemed camp wasn’t so “stupid” after all.
It wasn’t long before I called out to George who I found walking down one of the dirt roads.
I thought Noah had run quickly to me, but it was as if George had lightening bolts attached to his feet as he flew to my arms.
In typical George (my fitness kid!) fashion, he had a couple of cookies but not too many and showed me where they were staying so I could put my stuff down. Then he walked me all around the camp.
He said it was free time and that he’d rather stay with me than go with friends, so we walked down to the water and up through some trails. He showed me where the shooting range and where the mess hall are. We walked and talked for hours and just hung out.
Eventually, we ran into Matt, who had no real interest in me being there and quickly disappeared with his older (and much cooler than mom) friends.
Noah also caught up to us after a long while and happily laughed about all the things he had done that week. While we walked, George had warned me that Noah thought he could convince me to let him come home tonight so I was prepared for Noah’s disappointment and mild anger when I told him that wasn’t going to happen. He hurled a few angry words at me and ran off. I knew he had to work his way through it and so resisted the urge to run after him, and it wasn’t too much longer before he was back by my side laughing and acting like his sweet little self so I promised to pick the boys up at the end of the last full day of camp.
The three of us walked together for a little while and passed a soccer game some guys had thrown together. George, unable to resist any longer, ran off to play, and Noah and I borrowed a whiffle ball and bat for batting practice. We soon attracted other boys including one who was in Noah’s merit badge class, and the two seemed to form a tentative friendship made even stronger when I fired a shot back at Noah who was pitching. The ball hit him in the upper thigh and all the boys thought I’d gotten him, “in the privates.” I wasn’t sure whether their gasps were empathy for Noah about the closeness of the shot or surprise by the skill with which I’d fired the ball back at him. 😀
Too soon, it was time for me to go. I watched the flag get lowered. I waited for the boys to finish dinner. George sat with me refusing to eat so that I wouldn’t be left alone. We walked to the camp store, where I could only get him a granola bar and a baby bottle candy thing which I never would have bought under normal circumstances.
I drove off in the coming darkness, wishing I could take them with me, but feeling better about having gone up. My boys were in good hands. I liked their leaders. They were making friends. They seemed to be doing well, and I ushered a prayer of thanksgiving to God for whoever it was who paid for them to go to Boy Scout camp.
Besides, I knew I’d be back in only two days.
We would all make it until then…