Camp James, Day 2

Day 2 of Camp James was a hoot!

James had so much fun on the first day of camp he didn’t get up until after 6 am. (He usually wakes up in the 4s, so this was kind of a big deal.)  In all fairness, we did keep him up a few hours later than his usual bedtime last night because we watched the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York.” If you’re not familiar with his work or his life, you should see it. I was happy that all three of us were able to settle on a movie that we all really enjoyed. 

After breakfast, James ripped off the first link off of the Judy chain, and we thought about her long journey and how much fun she must be having on her first day there, which also happens to be her birthday.

Later, we dropped off ER at Marvin Methodist to log some volunteer hours with my absolutely amazing stepsister, Melissa. Melissa runs the mission program at Marvin and if you were to write a list of all of the things she does to impact positivity and change in the world, you’d have a phonebook-sized list. Melissa is a super star.

I snapped this before ER got started. 9am is very early for a teenager, so this smile might not be entirely genuine. James never smiles in pictures, so trust me, he’s having fun here.

While ER worked, I needed to knock out some errands, so James came along. He opted to sit in the car while I ran into Walgreen’s for toilet paper. James noted that he is CVS loyal, but I think more than anything, the mere thought of shopping for toilet paper is embarrassing to modest gentleman James. 

Afterwards, I needed to wash the car, so we hopped into a place called Soapy Suds. I was hoping for the kind of drive-through car wash where somebody else does all the work while you sit and drink coffee, but by the time I got in line and paid, I realized it was a self-serve variety. You get what you get for $5, Amy.

As we pulled in and the car began wobbling from side to side, James’ eyes got very big, and he said,

“It looks like we’re being attacked by a hula skirt! Can you imagine if your great-great grandfather saw this?”

This was our view as we wobbled along.

We laughed and laughed as the air dryer blew our car here and there, and laughed even harder when I had to vacuum the inside by myself and nearly strangled to death when the vacuum tried to eat my summer scarf. Who wears a scarf while vacuuming a car? This lady, that’s who.

In the afternoon, we cracked open our friend Bernadette Noll’s new book, “Look at Us Now.” The book is a creative family journal that allows you to fill out pages with your family, so I brought it to Camp James thinking he could fill out pages with his kids.

We flipped through and had James yell “Stop!” to select pages to fill out randomly. We did a few pages, and loved drawing together, the three of us huddled over the pages drawing our favorite foods and finding the right color of pink for shrimp, one of James’ favorites. 

James said, “I don’t think I’ve ever done group drawing before!” 

There’s a first time for everything, James. We love Bernadette’s book!

“The family that colors together…” James said.

Later, while I napped, ER baked a cake for Mimi’s birthday, despite the fact Mimi isn’t here to enjoy it. ER loves baking cakes, and I love her creative use of simple construction paper to decorate in the absence of fancy stencils. 

Plus, it gave us the perfect opportunity to fill out this fun page in “Look at Us Now:”

We rounded out the day with a trip to one of our Tyler favorites, Don Juan. We picked the original version because James likes it best. We had a terrific dinner, and I bought a t-shirt that says, “Me Gusta Don Juan.” I can’t wait to wear it. 

I love the decor at Don Juan. It’s a happy space. We wish Judy had been there to join us.

We have more big plans on the agenda, so we’ll turn in early tonight, and look forward to Day 3 of Camp James tomorrow.

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