The people who knew you when you were young are the best ones. You don’t have to work hard to impress them. They know you; they know you from the back.
I spent last Sunday with 13 people I had gone to camp with, talk about an old notion. These days if kids go to camp at all they go for a week or two, and it’s a specialty camp, like for basketball or cheerleading or weight loss. Oh there are still the fine old camps that are fully subscribed every season but their number is dwindling.
Back when I was a kid, parents thought nothing of packing their kids off to eight full weeks of camp. (Everything was cheaper then, and that sure helped.) We all went to camp for eight full weeks as girls. It was the only way we could go. And we didn’t just go in that classic latency age before the hormones hit. We went to camp for six, or nine or eleven summers and then came back as counselors.
Four of the people I saw last Sunday were sisters. There are five of them all together and didn’t the camp photographer love to line them up for a picture! We had five Creaghs, four McSweeneys and on and on. Here is one of the sisters pictures below.
I was in pre-school when some of these former campers met me. My mom and aunt ran the camp is why I was there at such a young age. We lived there. So all these years later in spite of the changes in my face they say they would know me anywhere.
No doubt many remember the time as flag bearer during “colors” my underpants started to sag below my little-girl camp shorts as I marched hup-two-three toward the flagpole. They were touching my knees before I got there.
The people who have seen your underpants fall down and like you in spite of this social gaffe are the people who know you. One camper who wasn’t present at Sunday’s gathering might remember the summer I was so full of myself there was no living with me. She was my counselor for three years so she really saw my faults – and she called me on them.
You can really relax around people who know you that well. This is the camp play I was in during which what relaxed were my bladder muscles. I wet my maroon crepe paper beet costume just moments before the curtain went up I remember. I wept with shame after my scene and ran to my mother sitting in the back of the theatre. She didn’t care about my wet pants. She pulled me into her lap and comforted me
You guys, who read this blog, know me. If you’ve been reading it for a while you know about the time my big sister Nan and I peed in the upstairs hall during our naps and left the puddles there on the hall rug, each with a small corsage of t.p. in its midst, something we did for the sheer naughty fun of it. I think we must have sensed that there was some sort of frisky fun associated with what resides in a person’s pants and pee was the closest we could come to imagining what it was.
Well enough on THIS theme! I’ll sum up here by only saying that we might like people to look upon us as some new Mother Theresa, some new Dalai Lama, but the truth is we’re more comfortable with people who have really got our number.
What fun I had with my old friends Sunday! And that’s without even singing the great old camp songs like John Jacob Jingle Heimerschmidt!