Last night was the final night for camp, and they had a Friends and Family BBQ. One of Rojo's sainted teachers camp up with a friend to visit him, and camp. She and the friend had met at that camp when they both worked at it for a summer a few years ago. Rojo was not very nice to her when she got there, he was visibly tired, hungry, overwhelmed by some of the sounds and behaviors of the other campers, and just overall unpleasant.
He seemed less than enthusiastic that STM and I drove all the way there, giving us a very lukewarm reception. He didn't eat a bite of dinner, and Ruby said he had hardly eaten anything all week - relying almost entirely on the jumbo-sized tub of Goldfish I'd brought just in case. He hadn't gone swimming, hadn't showered until THURSDAY, and said he'd had a lot of trouble sleeping because two of the boys in his cabin were really loud at night.
I asked Ruby if there was any other place he could sleep, and apparently two campers had gone home so he moved into a different, quieter cabin, and slept much better.
I drove to pick him up today, and he was more animated than last night, but not by much. Slowly as we drove home and he checked important things (like frozen yogurt flavors and the weather forecast, as well as the exact time) on his recently returned cell phone he came more and more to life. I asked him how much he liked camp on a scale from 1-10, he said, "3."
We drove straight to the frozen yogurt place before even coming home and putting on cooler clothing, he didn't have his usual two bowls, only one, and still he was not quite himself. He went straight for the TV/iPad combination and relaxed for awhile, then he was all about riding his bike to visit friends, seeing if there were dogs at the park, and going to the Little Store to buy stuff all on his own. When I mentioned I had to walk up there later he said, "Just tell me what you need and I'll get it for you." HUGE! AND, he did! (Romaine lettuce.)
He called Kathleen to ask her if she'd heard the ice cream truck on her street, and when she asked him how camp was, he said, "Great!" And he said it as though he meant it!
As I drove up the mountain this morning with a huge pit in my stomach after the BBQ last night, I saw another sign in someone's yard: "God bless you." I recalled a pep talk I'd had earlier in the morning with Rojo's preschool teacher, and a pep text message(s) from a friend reminding me that sometimes just because something is hard, doesn't mean it isn't good, and doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. Rojo didn't love camp. He missed us, his favorite foods, routines, TV, dog, bike, friends. He was pushed way out of his comfort zone. He wasn't very gracious or happy about it some of the time. He was, and is, however, so, so blessed.