Camp Story Contest: Nicole

Entry Authored By: Nicole, Julia’s Mom, Age 5

            Julia attended last summer and was in the Beauty & the Beast portion. She had a wonderful time! She was six, and although on the young side completely thrived and was more than thrilled when instead of being chosen for Mrs. Potts (lofty goals being six) was chosen to be an Enchanted Spoon and one of the Townspeople. She took her role very seriously and practiced her little heart out that first week. And then came the second week, she was still practicing but now with an audience…my dad, her Grandpa would be arriving from Michigan and she would have an audience at home to dazzle.

            He watched as she sang her songs and practiced her lines and how great was it to have an opportunity to see the performance. One of the things he really helped out with was the making of the Enchanted Spoon part. I am not a crafty mom but dear ol’ dad was more than willing to get in there and perfect that spoon and use the right amount of tension and placement so it would be comfortable for Julia on stage. It was a treat for him to be involved and “there for Julia” as he had been for me growing up with all of my activities. Always the perfecting craftsman it turned out wonderfully. Sure, there was some more enviable spoons on stage and hers slipped a bit when she was up there, but this spoon was put together by GRANDPA. And a grandpa that had immense joy and pleasure in the construction of it. 

            I have that spoon still in the trunk of my car. For a while there I had left it because I just hadn’t thrown it away. You know how it is with your kids stuff, it’s almost acknowledging the passage of time. But now I leave it there because it reminds me of the last time I saw my dad alive. Shortly after his visit when he was home he became very sick. While he was here I could tell he was slowing down and not eating as much as he always had, I guess we were both in denial that it might be serious. Sadly, devastatingly, he passed away in November from cancer. It was pretty serious indeed. 

            So, there’s the spoon. In the trunk of my car. I just can’t bring myself to throw away the darn spoon. I tell ya, it  was such a happy visit. And at six is when I can fully remember feelings that this encouraging, enthusiastic, loving man felt for me.  He was a softball coach, never missed an orchestra performance, played endless tennis matches with me, every play and every musical without a doubt in the audience engaged parent.  Your camp provided me the chance to see him give  that to my daughter. Luckily I was present enough at the time to keep telling myself that when I watched her with him. Thank you for the timing of your camp and what it provided to allow me to witness that.

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