the long walk
I looked forward to camp for years. Once the eldest started, I wanted to go. And when it was the middle’s turn I became downright antsy—for two years—until I could go, too.
The summer before sixth grade, camp was amazing. I slept in a covered wagon. My team won the competition, though rain prevented us from sleeping in the fort to celebrate. I went rappelling. But on the morning it was time to leave we waited and waited and waited. We waited some more. No bus.
By that point I was done with camp. It’s not that I wanted to go home. I wanted my brothers. The middle was in the junior high camp and the eldest was in the high school camp. I hadn’t seen them in almost a week. I was beside myself with sibling withdrawal.
Then a few people approached our camp on foot. One of them was the eldest! I took off running. He knelt in the road and I ran straight into his arms. And I didn’t let go. So he stood up still holding me, and as they explained whatever the issue was with the bus, I wrapped myself tighter around him.
It didn’t occur to me as all the rest of the fourth, fifth and sixth graders started trudging along behind our high school chaperones that there was anything odd about the fact the eldest was still carrying me.
At the time the distance seemed enormous. Now I know the camps were only a half-mile apart, but it didn’t matter—he carried me the whole way.
This post is part of the 31 Days: Family series. Read the beginning, and see a full index of posts, here.