We retrieved Safety Guy from Boy Scout Camp yesterday. We were very late picking him up, but he handled it well (for him). Here's what happened: while my husband and I were discussing a difficult issue in our extended family, my husband (who was driving) was distracted and we missed our exit off the thruway. That meant a very long detour to get up to camp (25+ miles out of our way by the time we got to the next exit and took another route). The plus side (I was trying to be positive): it was a nice drive into the Adirondacks. The down side: trying to get hold of someone at camp to tell Safety Guy that we'd be late, and hadn't forgotten about him. No answer from his Scout Master or Safety Guy's phones. (Turns out one had no reception, and one was out of battery power.) Finally we caught up with SG's tent mate/friend's dad on the phone, who said he'd tell SG we'd be there in a while. When we eventually arrived, Safety Guy's response to the debacle was, "Nice, Dad." Still, that's better than a wholesale meltdown or more scathing commentary, so we decided we'd gotten of lightly under the circumstances.
Next was another up side/down side issue. The down side: we were late enough we missed the BBQ. Hey, there were a couple hundred Boy Scouts there, we didn't seriously think there'd be much food left when we were 45 minutes late for dinner. Safety Guy got to eat, but we were out of luck. The plus side was that we decided to drive on into Old Forge after we packed him up and eat at the same tavern we ate at when we dropped him off last Sunday. (Although he'd already had dinner, Safety Guy had a side order of french fries there, which he proclaimed the best he'd ever eaten.)
We were pleasantly surprised that Safety Guy was in a pretty good mood when we arrived, with little to complain about. He was chatty and happy to describe his camp adventures to us through dinner, and unusually patient with his sister talking about horses and her trail ride as much as he talked about camp.
I had made a tactical decision before we got up there: we'd let him ride shotgun in the car on the way home, because I was pretty sure sticking him in the back seat with his sister right away would be a bad idea after his long, stressful week. He was thrilled to sit up front. I had also brought his Gameboy in the car, which he greeted like a long-lost friend.
At the last minute we decided that I'd drive the return leg of the trip, so my husband got to relax in the back seat with Princess Yakyak (who enjoyed the novelty of having Dad sit next to her). It was a gorgeous evening to drive home, with a lovely sunset, the pine-woods fragrance of the Adirondacks flowing through the open car windows, and the full moon rising.
We were home very late, almost 11PM, but we still insisted Safety Guy take a shower ASAP. Oof, he really needed one. (He was well aware of that; in fact, at dinner, when the waiter asked him if he'd like dessert, Safety Guy's response was, "I need a shower!") After he was clean we let him have 15 minutes of computer time, something he'd been dying for all week. He enjoyed his 15 minutes, then happily went to bed in his own room. He slept in this morning, and got up cheerful.
In the interest of letting him unwind from his week, we gave him as much space as possible today. He had his computer time, listened to his music, played with his electronics, hung out with the little boy across the street (who is three, and adores having a big kid pay attention to him), got into a water-gun battle with his sister and the kids next door, and enjoyed having his Nana and Papa over for dinner tonight. It was a very low-key day all around. I guess I'm still waiting for the backlash meltdown to occur. Maybe it won't happen at all (which would be some sort of miracle, but I'm still hoping).