Monday, July 25, 2011

He's HOME!

It's been a long, strange week here at the SayreSmiles household.  My boy was gone for the first time to Camp Weed - a camp run by the Episcopal Church.  Last year he was adamant that he was not ready to go to a sleep-away camp or to be away from home for that amount of time.  This year he was chomping at the bit to go.  So he went.

It was awfully quiet here.  His presence takes up so much space and makes noise even when he's sleeping - we know he's here.  And this week, we felt that absence.  Very quiet.

As long as it was quiet like this, we decided to get some house stuff done that we've been wanting to do and just never could with so much family thing happening.  One of the things we did was put a new floor in the livingroom and paint it (there will be another post about that later).  The change is dramatic - and Darling Man and I made a bet as to what Z would say when he walked in the door.

Sunday morning, we got up early, downed the caffeine-filled beverage of our choice and drove the 85 miles to Camp Weed, arriving just before the service in Mandi's Chapel.  Now THAT is a gorgeous church!  I wish I'd brought my camera, but I'll show you with off-the-internet photos:

This is from across the lake (which is still green, but regrettably empty).  At first glance, it doesn't seem to fit in with the somewhat rustic other buildings, but once you get used to it, it seems perfect here.  It's up on stilts, probably both for the view and to avoid possible flooding problems.

The interior is all wood.  The floors are gorgeous (we are hyper aware of floors at the moment) and most people who've been walking through the sandy trails at Camp Weed removed their shoes before entering.

These are interior shots.  The first one is from the altar back towards the congregation.  There are also seating areas off to each side of the altar where the parents sat, and the kids filled up the area directly in front of the altar.  The second picture is the altar itself.  I've never been in a church that felt so full of light (all kinds).  Z said that the campers from his group came in here and talked some, and one of the counselors asked if anyone wanted to come back and get married here.  A lot of hands went up - you can just see how wonderful a venue this would be - even if you are only 12 or 13 years old.

Just before the service started, the kids came in.  Z's group was near the end, and when he finally spotted us, he walked rather quickly to us with a big grin on his face, then FLUNG himself into our arms.  I think he might have teared up a little.  I know we did.  Fierce hugs were exchanged and whispered-into-hair I love yous, then he rejoined his cabin and Darling Man and I returned to our seats.

The service was lovely with lots of lively singing and hand-clapping.  We didn't have books, so I did it from memory, while Darling Man just stood and listened.  As lovely as the service was, I couldn't wait for it to end so we could collect our kid and go home together.

After getting his checkout card, we went to collect him at the cabin.  He'd packed everything before the service and was waiting   We got him and his bags and said our thank yous and farewells to the counselors and hit the road.

On the way, he told us all about what they did, what they ate, what time they got up and went to bed, how comfortable the bunk was, that he took a shower every day (but didn't brush his teeth every day) - he talked non-stop.  He LOVED camp and wants to go next year.  And the year after.  And eventually become a counselor himself.  I told him that if he wanted to do that, we'd find a way to get him there.  Mostly, it was just wonderful to hear the music of his voice piping from the back seat.

When we got home, I opened the door and he gasped, then said "Whoa!"  At which point I gleefully pointed out that I won the bet.  Darling Man stated emphatically that I did not, as Boy did not say "Wow" but "Whoa".  I still think I won.  Whoa is a lot closer to Wow than it is to WTF?!

The dogs went crazy, of course.  Lots of pets and licking.  The cats were happy.  We were happy. 

As Boy snuggled into his bed, he thanked me for letting him go, but said it was very good to be home.

Yes, it is.


Anonymous said...

How sweet.

Knock knock - it's cancer! said... cute.

I remember camp. I always said the same thing, that I'd want to go back again and again and then be a camp counsellor.

I'm so glad that he had such a good time :) It must be great having him back home.

jules4tally said...

This brought back so many great memories for me. I remember being a camper and deciding that I wanted to come back to work and be a counselor. I love Mandi's
Chapel too. Thank you Sarah and I'm so glad Zach had such a great time!

ari_1965 said...

They had showers at his camp? We had lakes.

Glad he had a good time.