By Erin Schovel Turnham
Friday, June 14, 2019
Time to go get my boy from his summer camp adventure! Sunshine and I are ready for the trip. I’ve got my coffee. She has a notebook and crayons. Let’s go!
It’s a beautiful summer morning. I just had to stop to get a picture of the Camp ASCCA sign on this beautiful tree lined road. Yes, I stopped the car and no one was behind me.
Once we arrived, Sunshine and I went through the checkout process in the dining hall. A counselor reviewed with me the record of Grasshopper’s blood sugars during the week. Rhonda McDavid, Executive Director of Camp Seale Harris, stopped me on my way out the door. She said that campers are able to earn beads through the week for completing various tasks and for behaving well. Grasshopper got beads for listening to his counselor, changing his site mostly by himself, and for meeting his self proclaimed goal of not getting his hair wet while going down the water slide!
After we finished check out, we were able to walk to Grasshopper’s cabin to gather his luggage, and the boy himself. He saw us coming and greeted us with the best run up bear hugs EVER.
Sunshine gave him the drawing she made on our way there. Grasshopper was excited to show us he had lost his third baby tooth at camp! He was spilling over with joy to tell us about all the things he had done. It made my heart full to hear that he had enjoyed it so much. He had been on the zip line, he tried tubing for the first time, he went swimming, horseback riding, fishing, played some pretty elaborate games of tag or hide and seek (or both??), and so many more activities that I couldn’t catch because the words came tumbling out.
We said our goodbyes, shared hugs, high fives and fist bumps with counselors, nurses, and staff. Grasshopper admitted he didn’t want to leave! I am encouraged to know that he is excited about going back for more Camp Seale Harris fun. To ease the transition we had lunch at Niffer’s At The Lake with his good buddy and cabin mate W and his sweet mama.
Our drive home was fairly quiet. Once home the fireworks started. Post camp meltdowns. Multiple. It’s hard to be home after a week away.
The disrespect is going strong over here. And so are the “go back to your room until you can be respectful to the rest of the family “ moments. Woof. He held it together all week. They say kids lose it on the people they trust the most. So yay me!
Grasshopper is tired, hungry, and missing the freedom of camp. But I know that some dinner, and a good night’s sleep will turn his attitude around, so that is what I’ll tackle next. Thanks to the mental break that camp gave ME, I can stay calm in the midst of his storm and give him the stability he needs. It may be wrinkled from the suitcase, but the back of Grasshopper’s camp shirt speaks truth. There’s no place like diabetes camp.
Epilogue: As expected, with some food in his tummy and a solid night of sleep, Grasshopper was back to his usual cheerful self the next morning. He hasn’t stopped talking about camp. It makes me so happy to hear just how exciting it all was for him to be immersed in camp fun with 150 or so other kids who truly understand what type 1 diabetes is. Together we are stronger than we are apart.