These are my kids. All of them could be found sprawled and asleep in my living room earlier this month when I would shamble out to make my coffee in the morning. Those great big boys are my son's brothers, he calls them that, and they call my daughter their little sis, and they warm my heart when they call me Mom and my husband Pops, so I claim them as mine too. They can really fill a room at 6' 9", 6' 4" and my son at 6' 2" (although I notice he is level with 6"4" in this picture; did he grow?) and their energy is light and good. The young lady next to my son is his girlfriend; they met last summer when they were counselors together. She is gentle and soft-spoken, but no pushover, which I love. And that's our daughter on the right, a lowly CA (counselor assistant) hanging with the full-fledged counselors because they fold her in like that. Now they are all out in the woods for the summer, under an awning of green and beside a sparkling lake, working, yes, but out in gorgeous nature and with their friends since childhood all around. As I head off the work this morning after my week away, I'm positively envious! I wouldn't mind working in a woodland commune shoulder to shoulder with my friends for the summer.
Above, my daughter is reconnecting with her CA crew, kids she previously camped with and hiked with and biked through four states with, who will now be her coworkers. These will be the next generation of counselors. You can barely see her blue shoes in the center, so you'll have to take my word for it, she was lit up with excitement at being there. The first session camp kids arrived yesterday, so I know the counselors and CAs must be very busy getting them settled, tending to the ones who are a little nervous and homesick, getting the routines established, helping the kids get to know one another. Still, I've received three texts already from my girl itemizing things she forgot and could I please send, like a pillow and her mesh laundry bag and nail polish. Nail polish? In the woods? I can imagine her and her three tent mates (they're called "tenties") painting their nails by flashlight after a long day's running hither and fro. Her texts make me smile.
I love that my children will be working together for the summer. Here's my son, taking his sister's suitcase up a small hill to her tent. She was settled in no time at all as the three boys grabbed her stuff and carted it to her bunk without being asked. Come to think of it, I don't think she carried a thing. They spoil her. To her credit, she doesn't assume they will. But I know my son will look out for her this summer. And she will look out for him.