The summer has been eventful, so eventful, so full of activity that I have not had the time nor energy to report upon BOY CAMP. (For details see 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.)
The boy and I have had many opportunities, even this summer, for time on our own. The women in the family have already had one away camp (Blue Lake outside Muskegon, MI) but this weekend has for six years carried special significance for the boy and I since the wife and daughter first headed out to Girl Camp in 2010. As the boy is now ten, it is only fitting that our relationship to the weekend changed significantly this summer.
After making an afternoon maternity ward visit to friends with brand new twins, we decided to heard directly to the bowling alley. Bowling was the original, signature event way back in 2010 and so it was imperative. However, it was not satisfying as he struggled to make do without bumpers, perhaps for the first time. I was as positive as possible, and tried to guide him to improve his play, without much success. We made a plan for the rest of the weekend to look up from there.
We had the bowl early – if at all – because he his baseball team was in the playoffs. The season had stretched on much longer than scheduled, as many games had been cancelled due to all the rain. We lost the game, but it was hard fought. (His team had been undefeated until the playoffs, only to lose twice in double elimination in the final to this same team later in the week.)
For dinner in manly style we had hotdogs and cole slaw while watching The Terminator. Yes, we watched The Terminator. I was concerned it might be too violent – and it is – but not much more so than what he already takes in on network TV. The boy said it was excited but very smart, and I have to agree with him. Everything is so fast these days, fast and loud and active, the boy was very intrigued by the mystery of the story. That’s the problem with sequels, there’s no mystery to them, you know the world, you know the situation. There may be surprises, but surprise and mystery are not the same thing.
Saturday was given over to rock and roll. The entire day. He had his private lesson at noon at School of Rock and then a ninety-minute rehearsal with the band. They are working on a complete set of Joan Jett numbers for September, but would be debuting a small number of them at the Cain Park Arts Festival. The boy was extremely nervous about playing the Evans which is a very large space, but the crowd was small compared to the size of the venue, folks coming and going giving it a laid back vibe. He played very well after a false start, he keeps a rock steady beat (he's the drummer) and I am proud of him.
That night we stayed up and watched This Is Spinal Tap. He’s seen a number of rock music documentaries and films so I thought he’d “get it” and he did so far as it goes. What I underestimated was his appreciation of the many levels in which it is satirical (the Lick My Love Pump gag went clear over his head) and exactly how its improvisational elements are so amazing.
So, uh. So there. Wheep whomp.
Sunday morning was not one for lying in, however. I am training for a marathon and wanted to get in a ten mile but I did not want to leave him at home to watch videos of ADHD Millennials comment on Minecraft. So he biked and I ran, through Lakeview Cemetery and the Uptown neighborhood (i.e. CWRU environs) down to the Cultural Gardens. Two and a half hours of leisurely running, biking, walking and talking.
Finally, and this is a fine tradition, we visited the Lantern Theatre in the Big Red Barn, taking in another original theatrical event focusing on local history. This year it was Eric Schmiedl’s Johnny Appleseed featuring himself, his son Arthur, the surprisingly versatile Bill Hoffman and the always delightful Valerie C. Kilmer.
The boy and I do get to spend a good deal of time together, alone in each others' company. And he’s constantly challenging me, constantly debating me. We have great conversations and even some intense arguments. But we have a really good thing going.