Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rhapsody in Blue Lake

Robert and I were approaching White Cloud along M-20, a very wooded, pretty stretch of Newaygo County, when a commercial came on the radio that featured the opening of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
That composition opens with a beautiful clarinet part. Robert seems to have set a goal that he wants to play the clarinet well enough to do that piece of music justice. We were on our way to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, so he can learn to achieve that goal.
A few summers ago, when the Ladies Home Journal profiled our family, Robert was described as “9 going on 42.” I’ve always known that was true, and I’m getting a deeper appreciation of just how deep that goes in that boy with the blond hair and blue eyes.
He’s older now, but he’s focused, far more organized than many of the adults I know, and he’s got the apparently innate ability to identify a goal, then go after it.

I didn’t worry about having him pack for a 12-day stay at camp. He had a checklist, supplied by the camp, and he followed it. Robert had gone over it weeks before, knew he would have to obtain more socks and underwear, and had us get it for him.
“I was surprised at how fast I packed,” Robert told me the night before we left. Well, yeah, because it had been planned, and executing a well-thought-out plan always works better than making it up as you go along.
We got to camp before the official check-in time, but that turned out to be a good move. The camp bank and the camp store already were open, and there weren’t any lines. Robert was the second kid to check into his cabin, and he got the bunk he wanted. All the paperwork was in order.
We wandered around the central camp for a while, then we both knew when it was time to leave. It was peaceful, well-ordered and just a good transition.
He’s 12 years old. He’s tall, blond, blue-eyed, polite, a little shy and very bright. There are girls in camp, of course. I suspect that after camp, he’ll be hearing from a few of them.
He might call them back, if they love Gershwin.

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