It's late, but I haven't blogged for a while. I came home from camp and hit the deck running with post-camp laundry and jobs, summer stuff, business, work, Doug's work, kid stuff, etc etc etc. This last week and a half has been a complete blur.
But I have to tell you about my buddy Harry.
The building you see in this photograph is the dining hall at camp. Doug and I were staying in a cabin way up the hill from there. Every year we stay in "The Old Workers Cabin." Not sure if it's the cabin or the workers in it that are old, but I've stayed in that cabin for the last twenty years, and it is a lot older than that, so probably both are true.
The cabin can house four "units" of people. Doug and I got our room all to ourselves this year, but other years we have had one or both kids sharing it with us. One, when we only had one. Both when we had two. I have a lot of great stories of life in The Old Worker's Cabin. But today's story is about Harry.
Contrary to popular belief, our family did not go away on vacation exactly. All four of us went up to camp -- Daybreak Point Bible Camp on Anvil Island in the Howe Sound of British Columbia. Lots of proper nouns in that sentence. Hayley went as a camper. Colin was on the work-crew, and Doug and I were on one shift of cooks. We worked on a team of five that included us and cooked all the meals for 140 people for a 24 hour shift, and then got a 24 hour shift off. We usually napped when we were off shift. We had to work a bit harder this year because several people got sick up at camp, and we were a bit short-handed at times. The cooks are a fabulous bunch of people, and I love to work with them. We all pitch in to help each other finish and serve meals, and other camp staff (all vounteers like us) help out too.
Early in the morning, when I was on shift for breakfast, I would get up and head down to the dining hall to start work. Most of the time, the other three rooms were quiet, with occupants still sleeping or hoping to squeeze in an extra hour. The room across from ours housed one of the camp directors and her two young sons. Mom is a huge Harry Potter fan, so no shock when I tell you that her younger son is named Harry.
Harry is hilarious. At two, nearly three years old, he still has a baby face and wispy long, curly baby hair that reminds me of my son Colin at that age. Like Colin, Harry has huge eyes that take in everything around him, and like Colin at that age, Harry has the vocabulary and language facility of a much older child. Perfectly enunciated and grammatically correct sentences of marvelous complexity could come out of that kid's mouth, totally defying his outward appearance. And like Colin, he was a child who wanted to be treated like a cat. I know this behaviour. You can look at them sideways, but never come on too strong. Gradually I could feel him becoming more familiar with me.
In the dining hall, I'd see him playing with playdough.
"I have a big saw. I am sawing wood."
Or playing with a muddy mix of cornstarch and water.
"This is cement. I am making roads for the trucks."
One morning on my way to "work" I saw him standing in his doorway, rubbing his eyes sleepily and watching me brush my teeth and get ready.
"Hi Harry," I said casually.
"NO!" (emphatically) "I will NOT say hi."
I held my laughter until I got all the way down the hill. That kid cracked me up. That line has become a catch phrase around here.
By the end of the week, he was cuddling in my lap.