The weather for our three days was forecast as sunny, partially sunny, partially rainy, and rain. I read that as fun, sort of fun and oh holy hell, OMG not fun.
It wasn’t the best of weather predictions, but it was also far from the worst. At least, when we had to walk to the camp, it would be in good weather.
We arrived at the school on time, delivered to our fate by the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world who looked more worried for me than for her oldest boy (or am I really her oldest child?) With our packs slung over our shoulders and our sleeping bags in black garage bags, The Oldest and I said goodbye and marched to the waiting area like new immigrants at Ellis Island. The sky was clear, the air cold, the kids full of nervous energy and the teachers keeping watch like prison guards sensing a riot.
The Oldest did as he should have done and abandoned me the moment we arrived. Now you may think this was a bad thing, but it’s not. A clingy boy would have been a bad thing. He needed to be with his friends, to goof around with them, laugh and joke, have a good time. I was there for support only. If he needed me, fine, and if he didn’t, not even once, well, I’d be surprised, but delighted. This was about him getting a chance to have an experience he’d remember (and not in a they-pants’d-me-and-made-say-I-liked-girls kind of way).
However, it wasn’t long before I got my first surprise – the buses arrived.
In my mind, I had pictured the old yellow buses. You know the ones. Spit vinyl seats. Gum stuck to the floor. A smell of pee and candy that can’t quite be washed out. The kind of bus driven by a stoner with a baseball cap, the kind that jars your spine so badly, you end up like Stephen Hawking.
But no, the buses that came were high-end fancy-schmancy vehicles more suited to the Canucks that a horde of hormonal little people. The seats were comfy. The windows were clean. Hell, it even had a bathroom at the back. Talk about luxury.
But what’s a writer to write about when something’s awesome? The essence of a good story is conflict, struggle, or the overcoming of obstacles. Hard to get excited about a bus that’s amazingly nice, right? So, yeah, not much to talk about really.
So, as I sunk into the cushy chair, I have to admit to hoping something happened on the bus, something story-worthy.
As I sat at the front with the other adults, and wondered what could possibly go wrong while The Oldest filed past me to sit with his friends, but by the time we got started, I had plans for every contingency. Pirates, terrorists, bus crashes, zombie apocalypses, tantrums, riots, aliens… you name it, I was ready. I even had my pocket knife ready If I had to cut a bullet out.
Sadly, the bus ride up was uneventful as well. No one threw up. No one had a melt-down. No one got into a fight or set fire to anything. Not even a Ninja attack. Instead, they sang.
What kind of kids sang? A choir? The mouseketeers?
I had expected a bus full of bratty Biebers and I got a bus-full of good kids. What the hell?
Like trying to lull me into a false sense of security?
Hmmm. I suspected I would know soon enough.