People from My Past

Yesterday, Anna and I picked Jakob up from a week of Chess Camp. The chess players were a small subset of a larger Music Camp. It was an enjoyable afternoon—with a concert, chess camp awards, and plenty of people-watching.

Watching the campers was entertaining as they wandered here in there in little groups, teasing, laughing, climbing trees, playing one last game of “catch.” Some were dressed in the latest styles; most were comfortable in t-shirts and shorts. A few of the girls had fun extras—a big silk daisy in the hair, a t-shirt knotted at the side, layers of camis and see-through-lacy blouses. I realized, looking at the groups of camp-friends ebb and flow, that they could have been me, too many years ago at summer music camp…

And then I looked around at the parents, arriving to pick up their campers. The anxious searching, the big smiles when they found “their” camper, the hugs, the conversations…was that how MY parents felt so long ago? I know it described me, when we first arrived, looking for Jakob.

I kept watching the parents through-out the afternoon, as our campers wandered away and back to us, spending last moments with new friends. And I watched them as they enjoyed the concert by the campers. What I realized was that they, too, were grown-up versions of my music-camp friends. Yes, there were a few high-class, fit and slender, dressed-in-the-latest-style parents among them. But most of us were dressed more comfortably, in t-shirts and sundresses and bright colorful clothes. And a few of us had fun extras—an outrageous pin on a collar, funky shoes, rhinestone-sparkled shirts.

It’s always a comfort to find a setting where I blend in; where my unique shabby-chic style fits in. Maybe I will have to send a kid back to camp next summer…just so I can enjoy another afternoon with happy memories of my past!


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