Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Ah cubbies.

I remember cub camp at GVR in Colorado. I remember wanting to be exactly like my counselor Dani. I don’t remember anything specific, besides the fact that I thought she was beautiful and so cool. I remember that playing capture the flag was my favorite part about summer camp and I rarely got homesick. I remember singing songs at campfire and never wanting to go home.

What I don’t remember about cub camp are the petty arguments, the whining, and mood swings. This is new to me. Well at least being on this side of it is new.

I knew long ago that cub camp would probably not be my favorite week. I’ve never been that sweet, nurturing girl who wants to hold babies and babysit. I’m the youngest in my family so I haven’t really grown up around many kids. I think this would be different if I was an older sister, but either way, I don’t really think kids are that cute.

“This is exactly why I am not having kids!” I exclaimed in a crowded and noisy gymnasium yesterday. Rainy day schedule was in full effect and that dumped about thirty 7-9 year olds in my lap. What to do with 30 kids? Dodge ball.

But you see dodge ball with kids is different, because apparently they never get hit. Ever. “Nuh uh!” and “It didn’t hit me!” is about all I heard the entire hour. Or “I hit him and he’s not going out.” Yeah, what do you say to that? Who do you believe? I wanted to cry. I almost did until Marty, a boat driver and father of three, strolled in like a Catholic saint and took control. Well, not entirely. If anything, he showed me that you really can’t control a cub camp dodge ball game. You just do your best and don’t take anything personally. When they frown, cry, or stomp away angrily, they get over it a few minutes later and love you again. Yikes.

I get so frustrated that these kids lack logic. Upon telling Marty, he firmly, but realistically reminded me, “Umm, they’re kids. What do you expect?”

Once I stopped expecting them to be little adults, the week progressed more easily. I didn’t have a cabin this week, which was fine by me. If ever there was a week I would want to skip this was it. I can connect much more easily with older kids. I think it is the logical part of me. I am not a very funny person. I am not the life of the party, the playful one. I think too hard.

On Friday, Shanna, another counselor, was sick and needed a sub for her cabin. I took them to breakfast, to activities, to the bathroom, to the nurse for imaginary boo boos. Aurora caught my eye. At about 3 feet tall and 7 years old, she is about the cutest tom boy I’ve ever seen. Her cute little jeans could just about fit my fore arm. She was sick and laid her head on my shoulder. She spoke in a soft sweet voice. She only wanted fruit loops. Her little hand took mine as we walked from place to place. She looked up at me with her sweet, innocent Precious Moments eyes and said, “My tummy hurts. Will you sit with me?” All of her r’s are w’s. Life is simpler, but intense. Walking slowly with her up stairs that must look like mountains, I realized, This is why people have kids. Life is simpler, sweeter, well, at least until they are not on drugs and kicking and screaming again. By mid-afternoon Aurora was just fine, punching her sister and crying because she stole someone’s candy and got caught. Okay, okay, kids are cute in short spurts. Ask me at the end of the summer.

A father tells me, “Just wait until you’re married. Your whole perspective on kids will change. I didn’t want kids either.”



Carley Brown said...

Crazy.. Dani was my counselor too. And yes, she was gorgeous for sure! her younger brother liked me for awhile, I think his name was Dillan maybe? I dont remember it was so long ago. But her and her three or four siblings all had names that started with "D". I'm surprised I dont remember you better, I went to GVR from 7yrs old to 16 years old like every summer.