The “Gotcha” day, boppin’ around town, and a general sense of “aaahhhhh” to be back together again.

Was I awake at 6:00 am, jumping into the shower, beyond excited to pick up my not-so-baby-but-always-my-baby boy? MAYBE! Ok, yes I was. And I don’t regret it! Jared and I were supposed to get there around 8:30 to join our campers for breakfast. We were the first ones there, and we were chomping at the bit to see Rudybega, so we just walked into camp and up to the “Livery” where they enjoy breakfast. JD saw us and snuck us in the back way, so as to surprise Rudes. He was so excited and IMMEDIATELY sat down at the piano to plunk out the first part of the Charlie Brown Christmas special tune, “Linus and Lucy” with his dad. Kids and councilors gathered around to listen, and then cheered the duo on when the opus was finished. Rudy had accumulated quite a fan base without the help of Jared or me, but when they saw him in action with his dad, he shot up to super-star status…so fun to watch.

Just a tiny bit of the campgrounds. The horses the kids got to ride. Hey, I’m short, ok! It was hard to get them with the fence there.

Hanging with Cy while waiting to get called up to eat. Note Rudy’s sweet “rave” glasses from the camp dance party the night before. He said he was EXHAUSTED from dancing all night. 

A precious and heartfelt good bye hug from Shauna. We should all be hugged like this…💖

An emotional good-bye with JD.

Rudy said, “You’re my best friend here. We have so much in common and you really understand me.” Griffin said, “It really takes a lot to make me cry. Like a LOT. But now I have tears. You’re the best, Rudy.”

A lot of tears and sniffles later, we finally got to the car where Rudy finally had a bit of a laugh while he asked me to witness him drinking the last of his filtered water that we got before we dropped him off, and that he had nursed for the whole two-week term, taking a sip or two a day, to preserve his resources. (They didn’t have filtered water at camp.) He said that, other than his parents, this was what he was looking forward to the most…filtered water! Hahahahah! (Note, FRED hanging in there for his second year of camp. He, too, became quite the star.)

Once we got back into town, Rudy had a few places he wanted to visit. So we bopped up and down Main Street, checking out the book store, the candy store, some souvenir shops. We had a little lunch and let Rudy regale us with tales of camp and his favorite take-aways. One thing that we all loved and would like to add to our nightly routine, was called “Rose, Bud, Mosquito, Thorn”. It is a way of recalling the day in a sweet and simple manner, and it goes as follows:

Rose: You say something that was your favorite thing you did that day.

Bud: You say something you’re looking forward to.

Mosquito: You say something you are NOT looking forward to.

Thorn: You talk about your least favorite thing that day

We ate our sandwiches, talked, loved each other, and I caught myself staring several times at the boy so quickly becoming a young man right before my eyes. As he held the newspaper open to peruse the comics and the crossword puzzle, he seemed older than ever, and I became a little misty at the thought of him entering the double digits in less than a month. Then he farted without concern for anyone around us, sheepishly remembered his manners, and although I knew we had much work to do still, I smiled at the fact that he’s really not THAT grown up yet…perhaps never will be.😳😂

While we were with Rudy at camp, Bonnie and Phil decided to take the Durango Steam Engine Train ride to Silverton. They said it was beautiful, but very bumpy. They did get one photo that wasn’t blurry though. 🤪

Back at the hotel, the first order of business was some pool time.

Fred, enjoying his own, much-needed RnR!

Rudy insisted on recreating this sweet ad for “Summer At Any Age” shot! I see a tradition forming…

Once we worked up enough of an appetite, we headed to our last dining experience in Durango, Frida’s Mexican food.

We just couldn’t stop holding hands and snuggling. But the really cool part about our walk downtown was how many people recognized Rudy. All the staff and counselors from camp were on their three-day weekend away from camp. All showered and fresh, the staff peppered Main Street, hanging at the ice cream shop, the pizza parlor, various store fronts, visiting and being free from responsibility for a few blissful days. However, none of them shied away from a Rudy hug when spotted, and at one point, several of them were lining a space on the sidewalk we needed to walk through to get past. They set up a “high five tunnel” and just made his night, cheering his name and high-fiving or fist bumping him all the way through. I mean, just LOOK at his little face. That confident swagger and little side smirk. Kinda reminds me of someone else…oh yeah! My Huuuuuuusssssbbbaaanddd! You know, as much fun as it is to be recognized around for what we do with Champagne Sunday (and yes, that even happened in Durango!), it is a hundred times more wonderful to see our boy receiving recognition and glory…just for being who he IS! He will quickly pass up Jared and me someday, and I will not be mad about it one bit. It is one of the true joys that we’ve experienced in parenting to see our little guy come into his own and to be celebrated for that. Wait til he begins to really do things with intention and purpose… I can’t wait to see what he becomes!

Our first ice cream of the summer. We had to wait for Rudy, of course!

This right here is the picture of exhaustion, both mental and physical. I’d LOVE to be able to tell you we all slept peacefully, snuggled together on this bed, in pure familial bliss, dreaming of roller coasters, balloons and ice cream cones… but that would be a huge LIE. I slept on the foot of the bed, on the floor, on the side of Rudy, and finally BETWEEN Rudy and Jared, only trying to find peace from a flailing, thrashing, almost adult-sized nine-year-old. All the while, Jared snored and sawed away, never knowing the torture his wife was experiencing. Also, Rudy lost a tooth in the middle of the night, then spent forty-five minutes around the toilet bowl, thinking he would throw up. (I think he had a little sun sickness from the pool.) Anyway, this is the nicest we would look for at least three more days…but it was all worth it to have our boy back. Thank you to Colvig Silver Camps, staff and counselors, for another hugely successful summer! You are changing children for the better, and we are happy to be on the witnessing end of it. Now, let’s get back on tour!!!

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