Saturday, June 21, 2008

All About the Outfit

Conversation with a four year old: “Where’s Da. Is Da gone camoing? I love camoing. I really want to go camoing. I have camo. I have camo pajamas and camo pants and a camo shirt, but it may be too small. I really want to go camoing.”

With William, it’s all about the outfit. He might not have had a clue about which end of the soccer field held the goal for his team, but he looked good out there, despite his shirt tail being about six inches below his shorts, making him look like he was running around with no shorts at all. He has really, really “fast” shoes. They didn’t make him run faster, they are just way cooler than his old Keds. Grammy didn’t have fast shoes. Why doesn’t Grammy have fast shoes???

Walker and his dad got packed for camp last night. He’s excited to go back for about the thirtieth time and will be helping in the kitchen and with the little kids. He has carefully folded his work shirts away for a week, has discussed the arrangements for getting his paycheck so he can go shopping the day he gets back, and picked out some of his coolest shirts. He likes the ones with Rooney on them best. That’s his brother in law’s band, and they are almost as cool as the Jonas Brothers. He will most certainly use sunscreen and bug spray this year, because even if that isn’t cool, he remembers previous summers when he couldn’t be bothered. He’ll make a big splash with a cannonball off the high dive, and he’ll have camp friends, mostly the counselors. They’ll have some outings and a dance with a dee jay.

I’ll probably use his absence to sort through his closet. I’ll give away the clothes he has totally rejected (pretty much anything too geeky or too uncomfortable) and see what he might need. He stays the same size from year to year, so frequency of use is the criteria for what needs to go and what needs to stay. He knows that a nice dinner out requires a shirt with a collar and church requires a shirt with a tie and a blazer, except in the summer.

For a week he won’t have to shave, although he has packed his shaver. Perhaps if a girl shows some interest it might inspire him. He knows that all the cool dudes wear a little scruff, at least sometimes, though.

My husband and I will get a weeks respite from the minimal services we provide for Walker. No ride to work at eleven and six. No arrangements for any appointments. No concerns about someone not liking leftovers for dinner three nights in a row. This week, the wonderful volunteers at Camp Good Times will deal with Walker. The same kids that were his first counselors at camp now run the operation. Some of them have grown up, had children, gotten post graduate degrees, one is even running for public office in the fall. We’ll know that Walker is in the best possible place other than upstairs in his room.

I hope we’ll always feel good about sending Walker off for different experiences. Perhaps we’ll try to include his camp friends in our daily life a little more this year. I hope he is safe and happy, not too sun burned and itchy. I hope he comes home soon.


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