Friday, May 27, 2011

Civil War in the suburbs

Apparently spring has bypassed Connecticut; snow to sunburn –that’s how we roll in the nutmeg state. And like clockwork, the moment humidity reaches 80% and temps top 90 – it’s time for 5th grade Civil War Encampment Day!
Ah, blazing sun, wool tents, campfires, potato and bacon hash and the unforgettable aroma of 100 pre-pubescent 5th graders in full dress uniform marching through the war torn streets of suburbia. Can you see it? Can you SMELL it?
This is a BIG deal in our little neck of the woods, with months of lesson plans and prep work culminating into one unforgettable day. The kids love it; teachers, too. (OK, maybe not those relegated to the chow lines.) This is my second-go-round with Encampment; here’s a little snippet of last night’s conversation between my sons. (Keep in mind they are 14 and 10 – slang abounds.)
Oldest: “Yeah – encampment is kind of cool.”
Youngest: “Is the food disgusting?”
Oldest: “Nah, it’s kind of sick. And you get to chuck stuff on the fire.”
Youngest:  “Fire’s cool.”
Oldest:  (slow head nod) “Way sick.”
Youngest: “Does anybody shoot real guns?”
Oldest: “Nah; and you can’t bring fake guns or knives; total rip off.”
Youngest: “Not cool; what are we gonna fight with?”
Oldest: “You don’t fight; you just pretend-die and stuff. You get stabbed or shot, try and get stabbed, it’s more fun and you get more blood.”
Youngest: “Cool.”
Oldest: “Sick.”
This went on for another 20 minutes, but you get the gist. Listening to my Mensa candidate offspring, I couldn’t help but wonder if they actually grasped the struggles and heartache associated with war? (Too much?) But this morning, my doubts vanished.
As I backed the Mom-mobile out of the garage, my little soldier yelled from the backseat.
“Mom, don’t forget to put the flags outside this weekend for the troops – it’s Memorial Day.”
Proud Mom moment here; he gets it – at least on a 10 year old level.
 The moment was fleeting.
“I hope I get stabbed today, that would be sick!”

1 comment:

Karen said...

You have funny, interesting, and cool rating options. Now you need to add a "sick." :)