Our world traveller has returned to us at last! He brought home half the stuff he left with, a hundred mosquito bites, lots and lots of stories. He was met by his siblings who couldn't get enough hugs from him, a banner made by Shelly and a hundred questions from Mom and Dad. Did you take any showers? Brush your teeth? Use deodorant? Sunscreen? No, not ever, nope, NONE! He looks like he's gained two inches and a year or two in the last four days. How did he grow up so much?
We celebrated his return by taking our party (and Chinese takeout) to Grandma and Grandpa's house. The kids are all now fast asleep in bed, recovering from the day's fun, finally!
Not to be left in the dust, last night was Shelly's turn to join the fun and she had an archery session at a local club. Only one other kid showed up, and she was already pretty skilled. So Shelly got the full attention of the three gentlemen who were coaching, she got lots of tips and encouragement. Elijah even had a chance to try out a couple of bows, but he's just not quite ready yet. I'm looking forward to seeing how she improves over the summer!
Shelly's quiver is nearly as long as her leg! Also, its a good thing she was wearing shorts under her dress so she could tuck the dress out of the way and attach the quiver to her shorts.
We've been working up to this for a few years now. Archer joined Cub Scouts way back in second grade, we camped out a time or two every summer with the Scouts and one of us (David or I) always went along as helper/leader/chapperone/crowd control on the "Scouts only" events.
Anyone who's ever purchased popcorn or batteries or wreaths has helped send Archer to camp. Anyone who's helped Archer with important life skills like baiting a hook, rolling a sleeping bag, making his own sandwiches has contributed to his confidence in taking this next step.
This year we decided to let him go it alone. Not really alone, he's known these leaders for a few years, he's known the other kids since kindergarden, we've spent a lot of time with these people. So not alone. But without family, he's going without family and we're all excited for him on his new adventure. He packed his own bag, made his own lunch for the road this morning, and off they went. Seven boys, two leaders, lots of snacks and joke books for the road.
Last night I asked him if he was going to call me twice a day to let me know he's ok. "No." Will you send me a letter or two every day? "No." Cry yourself to sleep every night because you miss us? "No." Every question made him laugh at me more, and I was glad. I'd hate to be the one that holds him back from getting out there into the great outdoors with friends!
We spent the day wondering what Archer was doing at that moment, "Probably having lunch now... I wonder if he's already done the swim test?... Probably dinner time for Archer... Do you think he's sleeping yet? Nah, maybe a campfire right now."
Anyway, we really are excited for him, and eager to hear all his stories when he comes back home to us.
In the meantime, Shelly's come up with a project to keep us busy - she made a mailbox and we can all write notes to him, so he comes home to a mailbox full of letters.
Have fun Archer, and don't forget to change your socks! And take a shower. And USE THE BUG SPRAY FOR GOODNESS SAKE! And deodorant. And have fun. :)
We swam and swam and swam until our fingers were all wrinkly and we were all worn out. We practiced stuff we'd learned at swim lessons and splashed around and Archer swam across the pool one way and then the other....
That's right, Archer swam from the shallow end to the deep, then back again. He passed Grandpa's Test! He did it three times before we said he'd have to be done for the day becaue the rest of us were too cold and hungry to watch a fourth time.
I am SO PROUD of him, I didn't think he was ready but he proved me wrong three times over, and I'm so glad he did!
I can't wait for him to show Grandma and Grandpa when they get home from their road trip.
PS - Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for letting us use the pool while they're away, I hope everything got put back in order to their satisfaction, the kids told us where everything goes so if its not right...