My kids are completely ga-ga over their summer camp counselor. We’ll call him “L” for the purpose of this blog post. To them, “L” is THE definition of cool, and they hang on his every word. He is often the topic of many conversations in our house and, by far, their absolute favorite thing about camp.
“L” is this sixteen or seventeen year old kid who has a great big diamond stud in his ear and who always wears a baseball hat. He has a very particular way that he wears his hat, with the bill completely straight across, rather than curved, the way I like it. My kids are always trying to get my husband to straighten out the bill of his hats so that he looks more like “L.” Apparently, my kids have made a big game out of trying to steal “L’s” hat by chasing him all around the playground. I haven’t decided if I think “L” is enamored with or completely annoyed by my kids.
The other day when my daughter had her little friend over for a playdate, they decided to play dress up, as they typically do when they’re together. This time, however, they kept coming downstairs and asking me for boys’ shirts and boys’ shoes. I couldn’t figure out what they were up to exactly. I soon found out, though, when my daughter came down, dressed in jeans and a baseball hat with the bill completely straight, wearing a pink jeweled clip-on earring. She was pretending to be “L” and thought she was just about the slickest thing on the planet. Yeah, that’s just what I need, another little punk in the house!
One of the field trips the kids took as part of the camp was to the beach. Now, I have been to the beach before when large groups of campers are also there, and it is nothing short of a bonafied circus. The campers are wild as ever, splashing in the water and running in crazy mad circles on the shore. Meanwhile, the teenage counselors are socializing amongst themselves, only casually glancing up to see if someone might be drowning. So, when it came time for my own kids to take this beach trip, I was, to say the least, a little uneasy about leaving them in the care of these potentially clueless counselors. And then, it dawned on me. I simply told them that they needed to stick by “L’s” side the entire time they were at the beach. I knew that if they were attached at the hip to “L”, he would have no choice but to watch their every move. I could breathe easy knowing that whether “L” wanted to or not, he would be in total control of my kids.
I guess I’ve gotta give “L” a lot of credit. I wasn’t really sure if my kids would like summer camp, since they tend to be slow-moving in the summer and don’t really like to rush around. Last summer, they got sick of their summer camp after just a couple of weeks. My son would ask me every day if it was the weekend yet, so he wouldn’t have to go to camp. This year, though, thanks to “L”, they are more than willing to hop in the car and head off to camp. And, when “L” comes out to the car to get them at drop off, I might as well be invisible to my kids. Their little brains have shifted their focus and for the next four and a half hours, it is all about “L” and his super-coolness. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve asked for his autograph by the end of the summer.