Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Things That We Keep

Flying our flag on fridges and beaches and anywhere Camp Zed goes...forever and ever.

Sometimes I need reminding that not all fathers get the privilege of spending entire summers with their children. I do, and occasionally I forget the immeasurable value of that. Every once in awhile I need a nudge to wake me up to the wonder of it. I'm going to camp, with my daughter, every day. That's pretty incredible.

Just as these dog days of summer roll in I've needed more than a little motivation to push through exhausted creativity, a lingering ankle issue and the pain that goes with it, and I've tripped over the fact that I've done not a single thing for me this summer...not a single thing for us, for my wife and I. It's entirely been about Zed. Just as I was wondering how I might pick myself up and dust myself off I found some perspective at the kitchen table...painting flags for Camp. As Zo destroyed a random bit of cloth, I worked more diligently, and when we were done, we had a flag to drag along with us on all our little the beach, to the pool, to the park, on adventures...We could fly our flag for the remainder of the summer, and for every summer after that, and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. A Dad and his daughter at camp together...their camp, no one else's, their own smile inducing memory factory of sunscreen and swimming suits, of sun and sand and smores.

I haven't watched the news in six weeks. I sometimes forget what day it is. Camp Zed has been a gift, and every summer that we get to add adventures to the pile will be a similar souvenir of the time we're able to waste together. I think I'll keep this flag tucked away with me forever. There's very little I value right now as much as this ragged bit of fabric and paint. Camp Zed...turning princesses into pirates, and Dads into nostalgic, sentimental fools.


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