Monday, July 28, 2008

365 # 28: Hunter

In the six summers that I spent as a camp counselor, I taught a whole lot of kids a whole lot of outdoorsy know-how. But for some reason, you're the only one whose name I can remember. It was your first year at camp and you were as homesick a child as ever I saw. You had begged your mom not to make you come, so she had struck a compromise with you whereby if you were not having fun by midweek, she would come get you and bring you home. To hear you tell it, she had sliced open her hand with a dagger forged from ancient steel and had sworn this oath on her own blood under peril of hellfire.

You were my shadow those first few days, your very first extended stay away from your mom. You tugged constantly at my shirt sleeve, repeating the same question over and over in a desperate plea for the reasurrance you had decided I had the power to bestow on you.

"You think my mom's gonna come? You think my mom's gonna come?"

And about every fifth time, you followed that up with a vehement, "She promised!"

Man, I didn't know what to tell you. I wasn't about to say yes, because for all I knew, your mom might decide to unplug the phone come midweek. All I knew to do was to try to do my part to make sure you did have fun. After all, that's what the Boy Scouts were paying me all that fat cash for.

Lucky for your mom and my stretched-out shirt sleeves, you did finally, grudgingly start having something akin to fun. Your mom's gamble paid off. I was glad as all get out to see it.

No comments: