When I picked Chaos up from camp on Friday, he was one of only two kids left. There was no set pick up time. I was told that they'd call when they were on their way. Chaos didn't call until they were already there. When he gave the one remaining camper a great big hug as he left, I began to suspect why he'd waited to call. Her name is Kelsey.
I asked about her (NATURALLY) and he blushed sweetly and laughingly said, "What happens at church camp, stays at church camp." All righty then! I asked Chaos great, big, open-ended questions about camp in general and got great, big, meaningless answers back, "It was fine." I was patient and he was stuck running errands with me for the next two hours so I eventually got a lot more out of him. He even enjoyed telling me. I think sometimes teenagers want to make sure you really want to listen before they're willing to invest energy in really talking to you. I think it takes them a lot of work to sort out what they're thinking and feeling about whatever they've just experienced and they aren't going to open that up only to be shut down. It means the world to me that my 15 year old is still willing to do that work to talk to me. Here's what I learned about church camp -
-Sunscreen works differently there. Chaos put it on five or six times a day (ask anyone in his group!), even on rainy days, and still got majorly sunburned. (I did explain to him that even with sunscreen on - a pale, red-headed boy like himself who spends 10 hours outside in the sun is going to get lobsterfied.)
-Chaos played football, ultimate frisbee, and soccer everyday, had Bible study and worship, and "partied" every night. ("Partied" meaning "talked to girls while there was music playing" - I am sooooo okay with this definition of partying and hope it lasts a lot longer than it is likely to!)
-Chaos is not born again. He learned a lot but doesn't agree with everything he was told. Also? He prefers being Catholic because they don't make him sing. He did ask if I would take him to Bluegrass Baptist Church next time it's "my" Sunday. He said he wants to hang out with Nate. I suspect he also wants to hang out with Kelsey.
Chaos told me at seven o'clock that he needed the phone around 8:40. I asked why and he said, "You know. Remember that girl that you saw me hug?" Yeah. I remember. I told him absolutely he could use the phone but he couldn't call her after nine and he couldn't stay on the phone later than nine-thirty. He called her. This is an historic event as it is the first time that a boy from our household has called a girl. My boys have, up until now, been too "Warhammer 40K" focused to have girlfriends! I was at the other end of the house but I know he didn't call her until after 8:50 because the kids were finishing up a movie. He was off the phone and horsing around with Bug in the kitchen not much after nine. I didn't ask about it. He was in a good mood and I hadn't had to pry him off the phone. Good enough. Small steps for as long as possible. The longer it takes us to get up to cruising speed for this part of the journey, the better in my book. Perhaps now would be a good time to buckle my seatbelt?