Thursday, January 26, 2012

Camp, imaginary kids and bunk beds

I signed Sam up for camp again in New Hampshire the other day.   

Last year, we managed to survive our three days/two nights apart. And the camp appeared to have survived Sam. This year we’ve upped the ante. Yes, Sam will spend six days and five (hopefully) sleep filled nights at camp.

As I begin to emotionally prepare for this, I’ve been playing back last summers adventure. Most of all I remember Sam’s return home with a barrel of dirty laundry and eleven imaginary siblings.

Yes, seven brothers and four sisters.

Sam’s camp counselor clued me in by curiously asking, “Does Sam have any brothers or sisters? He told us he has seven brothers and 4 sisters. He even told us their names.” Since I was pretty sure Sam was my only child, this was surprising news.

I asked Sam the names of his brothers and sisters and sure enough he rattled off eleven names: Jack, Joe, Tom, Jason, Zack, Josh, Lazy, Robin, Sister, Kate and Jane. “Where do they live?” I asked. “Bunk beds in Sam’s house.” He responded in an off-handed way. Really? We don’t have bunk beds.

Diving home I gave little thought to our new family members. I assumed we left them in New Hampshire, but they followed us home along with the dirty laundry. I guess they slipped into the bag without my notice, being imaginary and all. 

Sam referenced his siblings for a long time, insisting they were at our house, sleeping in the bunk beds we don’t have.  A friend pointed out the positive: we should have considerable tax savings with all those extra kids. And they could be accountable for my nagging fatigue.

Recently several of the kids moved out, likely due to my inattention. The last four, Robin, Sister, Joe and Lazy, show no signs of leaving.  

I am beginning to think they are real. It explains a lot: the escalating electric bill, growing food consumption, laundry, noise and unflushed toilets… And is Lazy responsible for the sink load of dirty dishes I found again last night?

That brings us to this summer and camp: I hope Sam enjoys it. I also hope he'll take Lazy and the others along. I could use the break. The extra housework from those kids is killing me. 

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  1. Sounds like Sam adopted all the other campers, if only for a little while.