There’s some debate about when Camp Gramp really started. Was it the first time my parents took their first-born grandchild? Did it require all four of the current Camp Gramp generation? Was it simply the first portrait on the wall in my ancestral home, right below the senior portraits of myself and my siblings? Regardless of your opinion of the previous, this year was at very least the 11th Camp Gramp. The babies (quite literally) in that first portrait are now majority-pubescent and taller than me. They know more about my wifi than I do, and speak in a language that is half-meme, half whatever replaces Vines.
But still we have Camp Gramp.
The lobbying was hard and heavy this year for another “RV” Camp Gramp. The cynical parental view is that this particular Camp Gramp methodology doesn’t interfere with the video gaming that is the shared Linga Franca amongst the campers. But the grandparents are loving, and obtained at great cost and with significant trepidation a behemoth to shuttle the campers across a modest half of Canada. Adam and I warned them about the Bay of Fundy (regardless of when you’re there, the tide will be wrong for whatever you’re trying to do. Also, it will be raining.) But we waved a cheery farewell as they trekked North. I was personally anticipating a few coveted days in the house ALL BY MYSELF as my children trekked through Quebec and my husband role-played in Indianapolis.
It wasn’t long though before things started going awry. The stress of driving the behemoth made my mother question the probity of her heart (nine hours in the ER in Augusta Maine is just as much fun as it sounds) and the night that was intended for Acadia was instead spent in a Walmart parking lot. The ‘fridge on the RV went. The wipers failed to turn on during an epic rainstorm. The systems seemed to take turns failing. My indomitable parents, who spent four years in the heart of Africa (including while pregnant with me) were finally bested by the drumbeat of mechanical failures and returned to the safety of my home and high throughput of my wifi.
It was really lovely to get to spend time with my mother and father, niece and nephew. These are people I see far too little of. I was glad to spend a few extra days with them, and sad to see them leave this morning. We are a few years into the “I wonder if this is the last one” stage. This one was extra, uh, character building. But watching those kids together, I’m so grateful that they know each other as the family they are!