Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Trails

Shane is spending the week at Scout Camp. He is the last of our five Boy Scouts so I have some experience getting them prepped for the week of  mayhem, muck and merriment  that is Scout Camp. But, as with all things child rearing--each one is unique and Shane has been especially good at keeping me from resting on my laurels or skating too easily down the homestretch.

Some time back we had this exchange:
Me: You seem to be kind of a "Glass half empty" sort of person.
Shane: What do you mean?
Me: You are more of a pessimist than an optimist.
Shane: I'm not a pessimist, I am a TRUTHIST!

That gives you the general outlook on life that colors Shane's world. There is no "glossing over", no "looking on the bright side", no "the sun will come out tomorrow" for him. It's just cold, hard reality. And to add to his misery, he has a Pollyanna for a mother. So much so in fact, I am about to tell you the bright side of being a pessimist er...I mean truthist.

As Shane was packing for his week at camp, he had his list in hand and I helped him locate the various items he needed. Each item was a reminder to Shane of just how awful the week was going to be.
Sunscreen: "It's going to be soooo hot! I just about passed out last year from the heat and it will probably be hotter this year."
Soap: "It's so dusty there--the dirt pretty much fills up my lungs and chokes me."
Swimsuit: "The lake is disgusting and it's so cold. I wanted to get the Swimming Merit Badge but the schedule is so dumb I won't be able to do it."
Scout Book: "The counselors there all smoke--some example they are!" (in their defense--only one smoked last year and he had to leave the area--he just came back smelling of smoke)
Scout Pants: "Scout pants are lame and make you look like a dweeb. I am not taking my scout pants."

And on and on it went. I am accustomed to our own Eeyore and his constant "Worst Case Scenario" commentary so I just ignore it and keep him moving forward. That evening as we sat down for Family Council, we were discussing the upcoming week. I had the family calendar in hand and Shane pointed out:
"I have to get up at 4:00 am! There is no reason for us to leave that early!"
           "Scout Camp starts on the 4th of July--I am going to miss all the fun stuff for the 4th! 
Are you guys going to go see the fireworks without me?"
Then it was "My birthday is during Scout Camp AGAIN! That is the worst! 
They baked me a cake last year but it was disgusting."
He concluded with:
 "Just put a frowny face for me for the next seven days!"
Sam pointed out that he would be back in six days and then Shane reminded us
 "I HAVE TO GIVE A TALK IN CHURCH WHEN I GET BACK!"

So, seven frowns for Shane.

But, on the bright side--when you always expect the worst, you aren't surprised when things go bad.
And when things go better than you expected?
 Well, when you are Shane, they ALWAYS go better than
you expected.


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