It’s Camp Time, And Living Is Easy For My Grandkids


The grandkids have started summer camp, and they are over the moon.

There’s Lego camp and sports camp for five-year-old Skippy, and Nemo camp and water play for three-year-old Tess.

Now, Skippy attended a bunch of camps last year — guitar camp (too hard!) and zoo camp (too hot!), but Tess was stuck in day care because she was only two. Worse, she had to accompany Skippy to all his camps, where he was dropped off, and she had to sit in the car for yet another long ride to yet another long, boring day at day care.

But now, because she is finally three, she gets to attend camp at the same place as Skippy.

Before this could happen, however, the kids’ mom had to have a long talk with them about being good siblings. Tess was not to embarrass her older brother in any way (“I won’t! What’s ‘embears’?”) and Skippy was to be there at the drop of a hat if Tess needed him to protect, guide and comfort her. (“I wiiiiiill,” spoken like someone who’s heard it all before… but he hasn’t).

So Monday comes and their mother walks them to the check-in where a perky teenager crosses off their names and calls for another teenager to escort them to their respective camps.

“’Bye, kids!” mom yells after them.

“Oh, yeah. Bye!”

“Have fun!”

“We wiiiiiill.”

By Tuesday, the kids were all grown up.

“Don’t walk us in,” Skippy ordered. “I’m like a teenager.”

“You are not a teenager,” mom replied.

“I’m like a teenager!” (Evidently teenagers are never so revered as when they work at summer camp.)

Tess, whose camp wisely included naptime along with water play, struggled through the door carrying her backpack, water bottle, towel, pillow, a blanket for above, a blanket for below and her favorite stuffed animal.

“Skippy!” chided his mother (from just outside the doorway). “Help her!”

“I wiiiiiill.” (Maybe he is a teenager!)

So Skippy grabbed one corner of one blanket and they trundled down the hallway — Hansel and Gretel meet the Princess and the Pea. (“That pile of bedding was as tall as they were,” their mother told me later.)

Of course, when they got within sight of the teenagers, Skippy dropped his corner and ran ahead into the gym. He knows where to go for sports camp.

And little Tess, so little she still needs naptime, continued slogging down the long, long hallway alone — water bottle clunking against her legs, stuffed animal weighing down her arm, blankets dragging on the floor. But she made it.

She made it because she is finally three and gets to go to camp and is merely a smaller version of the woman in the Rosie the Riveter ad: “We Can Do It!”

It has to start somewhere, and camp is as good a place as any. As for Skippy, he’d better watch his back!