When a third of the family goes to camp

This has been an interesting week in the Gobin/Bowman household.  On Monday morning, I loaded all four kids into the car to take the older two, Joe and Amy, to summer camp in Ravenna, KY.  (It’s Camp Aldersgate, a United Methodist camp they’ve gone to for the last three years.)  Maybe it was the fact that school had just let out the previous Friday, but EVERYBODY was wired.  Amy was admiring her new sunglasses in the mirror and wanting to make sure we got there in time for her to get a bottom bunk and to check out the bathroom situation.  This is her first time camping for a whole week, in cabins. Last year, she did mini-camp, where she got to stay for two nights in what amounted to a vacation condo.  Joe, her helpful older brother, informed her that cabin camping was very different, including showering in spider-infested bath houses.

After two loud hours in the car and a short respite at McDonalds, we escorted them to their respective cabins, said our goodbyes, and drove home.  What has transpired since then has been an interesting sociological experiment.  Our four children’s ages are 11, 10, 6, and 5.  I mention this because this week at home the two younger ones, Josh and Lauryn, have morphed into these other creatures.  I know there is a tendency in all older siblings to dominate the younger ones, and—on the whole—ours treat each other pretty well, but you would gather from Josh and Lauryn that we should all be singing “ding, dong, the witch is dead,” or “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last.”  Yes, the house feels quiet, and, yes, everybody misses Joe and Amy, but we suddenly have these eloquent conversationalists at the dinner table who are clearly loving having mom and dad all to themselves (not to mention the TV and their respective bedrooms).  It will be interesting to see how these changes continue to manifest themselves on Saturday, when our household number returns to six.