Today was the last day of the glorious day camp I ran this summer. Five weeks of pure, awesome fun! OR, five weeks of nerve wracking, panic induced creative mind plunging. You pick. Regardless, it is over. We left the cafesnezium a tiny bit worse for wear. We were not responsible for the leaky ceiling. We will, however, take full responsibility for the floor that is covered with glitter, paint, glue, peanut butter, powdered milk, honey, borax, hair conditioner, blood, and a teensy dead bug.
The dead bug was the real issue today. One poor boy, timid as a mouse, found himself a little….beetle type bug. He carried it around, talked to it, built it a house out of popsicle sticks, named it, promised it a long and safe life, and then smashed it with his shoe.
It wasn’t on purpose, no, the bug had wandered off while his house was under construction and when the boy went to look for it, he accidentally smooshed him. I feel a tiny bit responsible, I was telling him, “Look, he’s right there,” and the boy looked, stepping backward as he did, and …. well, there it is. Or was.
The boy spent almost the entire remaining time at camp sitting with his head down crying. It was the saddest thing ever. Sadder than yesterday when he fell and scraped his hand really bad, fell on his elbow, and developed a limp. The boy is tender.
The really great part of the bug murder (it was an accident!) was what happened after. One of the oldest girls there, Sydney (name has not been changed cuz you don’t know her!) , probably 11 years old, came over and gave the crying boy a “critter” she had made. It was a popsicle stick with pipe cleaner arms and hair and had googly eyes on it. It was one of the kindest, sweetest things ever. I almost wanted to cry. (and I didn’t cry when the bug died….)
Things like that, when kids are just NICE and CARING….they are the best. It shows that they have been taught well, but also shows that they have compassion. That is a quality I am really appreciating lately. Someone that has compassion is a rare and wonderful gift. It isn’t always easy to have compassion as a lot of people are “single-story-dorks.” But, truly, we should all try harder. It shouldn’t be hard. The effects are usually really great. People actually LIKE it when others care about them and are kind to them. I don’t really know anyone that gets pissed off when someone is nice to them. But, if you are one of those people…I’m sorry for you. Life really isn’t that great without a bit of compassion…both the giving and the taking of kindness. Its a two way street…cause I said so.