Camp loving parents who subscribe to the 10-4-2 theory believing Visiting Day might be the best day of the entire year as they await with great anticipation the mad dash to squeeze their babies can finally chant, hip hip hooray because the day has finally arrived! Packed up and ready to go with overflowing bags of treats and overpriced nonsense for their kiddos, they welcome the highly acclaimed day of the visit!
I am no different; except for the fact about it being the best day of the entire year. Because well, let’s face it, it’s not. It’s hot. It’s long. Did I mention it’s hot? The novelty of the excitement typically wears off about forty-five minutes into the initial greeting and that’s when you know activities of crankiness and whining take a left turn about a quarter mile up the ginormous hill.
That said, this was my kids’ first year attending Camp Knotgonnahappen and I didn’t want the stigma of another monotonous Visiting Day to get me down. I wanted to make the day as special as possible. I wanted to make it different.
Being an early riser, I eagerly awoke at the crack of dawn. I quickly dressed, grabbed my gear and was set to jet out. I had high hopes of being one of the first parents to arrive. I flew down the stairs and in a matter of seconds I had made it to the entrance of Camp Knotgonnahappen. I didn’t even need GPS to get me there!
It was quiet; much quieter than I had remembered from previous Visiting Day mornings. There was no buzz; there was no check-in. There was no color-coded map waiting for me with directions to the field on which I’d find my boys. Hmm, I thought. That’s weird. I wonder where they are. I guess I’ll just wait here.
Several hours and four cups of coffee later the clock struck noon. Half the day had gone by and I still hadn’t seen my kids. Visiting Day is almost over, I said to myself. And we’ve done nothing so far! Were they in a clinic? Had their leagues gone into overtime? I looked around for administration thinking someone of authority aught to know what’s taking my kids so long to show up only to realize there was no administration. There was nobody of authority to ask except of course, me. I was the only staff member. And what did I know? I knew nothing!
But then, alas, I heard rustlings from above. Kids? Is that you? It’s me, Mom! Let me see you! I’ve been waiting hours for you guys! It’s Visiting Day!
Surely enough, the boys appeared one after the other slowly sashaying their way down the stairs heading directly to Camp Knotgonnahappen’s mess hall. Hmm, I thought. That’s odd. They walked right by me as if they had just seen me practically yesterday. Are they still in pajamas? Were they sleeping this whole time? Geez, they need haircuts badly!
Boys, c’mon! It’s Visiting Day. Whaddya want to do first? I said with enthusiasm. It’s 1:25pm; time to get our day started! Who wants to play Rummikub? Scattergories? Anyone wanna watch a movie on Netflix? You guys have an interest in baking one of those rainbow cakes that has colored sprinkles pouring out when you cut into it? I was secretly praying they’d say no to the idea of baking but I felt I should at least ask. How do you guys feel? No headaches, right? Can I take your temperature? Let me take your temperature. Wait, wash your hands first. Hold on, let me see those fingers. We’re definitely cutting fingers and toes today. Who wants to go first?
My questions were received with teenaged eye rolling glares but at least I knew they heard me and I wasn’t being fully ignored like on other days because I was countered with:
Mom, can you make me something to eat?
Mom, this remote needs new batteries.
Mom, is there any more milk?
Mom, did you finish the laundry? I need those blue shorts with the pockets.
Mom, is it okay if I go back to my bunk? I’m tired.
Mom, can I have a smoothie first?
To keep my campers happy, I obliged to most of their
demands requests except for going back to their bunks. After all, it was Visiting Day and I wanted to make lasting memories we’d remember for a lifetime. As a family, we took countless trips schlepping from the couch to the kitchen and back again throughout the day. Together, we walked all the way to bottom of the driveway and brought up the garbage can that had been left behind from two days prior while also checking the mail and waiting for the Amazon Prime truck to show up with yet another frivolous purchase none of us really needed but knew would help to manufacture a [false]sense of instant gratification we had been longing for. As a special treat, I promised not to walk directly in front of the television while the boys were in the middle of either a Fortnite or NBA 2K game regardless of how accidental it may have previously been on my part. No harm, no foul fellas; I wouldn’t want to interfere with your incessant video game playing. For the purposes of this Visiting Day, I will schedule my routine mop of the floor until after you’ve finished. I’ll pencil that in for somewhere around 3:30am. Sound good? Great!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW…. After I had dust-busted for the fifth time in two hours, my eyes miraculously made their way to the clock on the microwave. Was it happenstance the time flashing before me indicated Visiting Day was drawing to a close? The bugle was about to blow. Let’s wrap it up folks. Pack it up. Pack it in. Let me begin……. saying our goodbyes!
I thanked my kids for indulging me with the first [and what I hoped would be the last] Camp Knotgonnahappen’s Visiting Day festivities as we hugged and kissed [goodbye]. There were no tears. No final hand waves. No looking back for a last chance glance. And then as quickly as it began, it was over. I left the boys playing [in the Lodge] and headed
out to my bedroom.
I was almost sad to see the day go by so quickly until thirteen minutes later I received a text message from one of my campers which read, Hi Mom. I’m hungry. What are we doing for dinner?