June 19, 2016
I have been writing fairly long blogs lately, so allow me a short, but heartfelt one.
I would love to wish a Happy Father’s Day to the fathers out there.
Father’s Day does not really seem real at camp. Like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day, this special day dissolves into the chaos and rhythm of camp. We march to our own schedule.
My own children have always been at camp on this day. Susie Ma’am and I have been committed to treating our kiddos no differently from anyone else. So when they are at camp, I am not “daddy”, but simply “Steve Sir”. Even this summer, our threesome who are counselors have generally tried to keep their identity a secret. They want to be acknowledged for their own actions and not their last name.
We believe that this helps maintain the integrity of camp – no one can accuse them of receiving special treatment.
But this also means that they traditionally have not wished me Happy Fathers Day. [Note: to my knowledge, there is no “Happy Steve Sir Day”.] At first, this made me a tad sad, but I now think of myself as a back-up dad to a few hundred wonderful campers and consider that special enough. This year, however, each whispered it to me. One even shaved his awful 3 day semi-beard.
Best gift ever. Seriously. This was facial hair that needed to go.
This summer, I have a bit of a bonus. I am no longer the only father. Robbie Messner, our wonderful Activity Director and husband to our Girls Camp Director Leah, became a dad earlier this year. We have all been delighted to have Baby Lola brighten our days at camp.
I am including a picture of the two of them. They look a LOT alike (Robbie is the taller one).
Let me conclude by simply saying that being a father has been perhaps the singular joy of my life – to our children and (as a short term surrogate) yours!