Yesterday afternoon my Boy Scout came home after eight days at camp. He had a great time. He was also exhausted, sleep-deprived, bug-bitten, blistered, sore and achy.
But he cleaned up and went to church yesterday evening. I am not sure how much he got out of the sermon, but he was there, he sang, he bowed his head and I assume he prayed. Maybe he was praying it would end soon.
He didn't want to go, but he went without too much complaint. On the way home we talked about the lack of time to recover from one thing before it's time to move on to the next. I remembered returning from vacations and having to get up for work the next day. I didn't want to go. Sometimes the jobs were even ones I hated. But I went.
He went to bed early, because this morning I had to wake him up at 6:30 for soccer camp. This afternoon, he has to go to the orthodontist to get new braces put on. No downtime.
It turns out he didn't make it to soccer camp. He got up all right - the smell of bacon was irresistible (at camp all they got was turkey bacon which he described as disgusting). But everything hurts and he can't stretch his legs. I cut him a break: he'll start soccer camp tomorrow. This is just a fun day camp; he's not playing in the soccer season this year. He enjoys the camp and I am all for increasing his soccer skills. Still, I wonder: should I have forced him to go? He won't always have the option of staying home when he's feeling sore and tired from a previous activity. But isn't soccer camp supposed to be fun?
Still, he's getting a taste of what real life - adult life - is like. We don't always have down time between activities. We have to be ready to get up and do the next thing. Sometimes it's hard. Next summer he will be old enough to get his working papers and get a job. It's time to start learning the realities of real life. Kid life is coming to an end.