When we were little, you could tell our personalities apart by our hair styles. Mine: long and straight from four years old until, well, now. Hers: Short today, long tomorrow. Straight today, poodle perm tomorrow. Day after tomorrow? Who knows.
How well I remember those dark, dark summer days just before my 8th grade school year kicked off and she joined me at our middle school as a fresh-faced sixth grader. How well I remember sobbing into my pillow that this spontaneous, sunny, poodle-haired sister was going to embarrass me right to the soles of my squeaky white Keds. Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly. Maybe I was sobbing into the pillow of bangs that I had piled atop my own head with my mirror’s advice. (Oh, cursed, bedeviled mirror to convince me that such a hair-do was anything other than mortifyingly embarrassing. At least now I keep my bangs long. And straight. Of course.) Sometimes even older sisters have a fashion misstep or two.
These days we look pretty much alike.
In any case, there’s no one better to run a Cousin Camp than someone who can have her hair short and straight one day and long and curly the next. The three cousin campers were more than fortunate to have my sister Julia as Camp Director this year.
For one thing, she did this:
The whole dang schedule planned out down to the minute, stuffing three little lives with nothing but fun, fun, fun, and some octopus hot dogs.
Remember these? No one but Camp Director Julia could have come up with such a cracker jack meal idea.
And aside from the fact that she’s mom to my favoritest niece and nephew in the whole wide world…
…that’s right–one busts a move while the other brandishes a gun. Love them!
Aside from the fact that she’s produced these two favorite people, she’s aunt to my own dearly beloved.
I’m not sure if it’s aunt duties or Cousin Camp Director duties that prompted her to venture where I know my sixth-grade sister would never have gone: straight into the gullet of a fish to gut out the hook that had lodged somewhere near an icthine colon.
The face. Don’t you love the face?!
She is one dedicated Camp Director, folks.
What I love about my sister is her sunny, spontaneous nature. That same thing that made me weep into my halo of hair-sprayed bangs now makes me twinkle with joy when she pulls the rest of us into her orbit and we go spinning away to bumper cars…
And library reading time…
And activity after activity that keeps seconds flying off the face of the clock and smiles dancing across the faces of everyone around the table.
I imagine that after a week of Cousin Camp Director duties, duties that sometimes mean she ended up squeezed into the very back of the car, she needed a good stiff drink and a break from the question “What’s next?!” Because she always, always had an answer to that one.
Even better, she always, always, always had her arms open for hugs. Even if it messed up her hair-do.
Can Cousin Camp be a roaring success without a Camp Director to lead the way into sunshine and craziness? Don’t bet on it. The only reason these three little cherubs had the time of their lives last week was because my sister was supporting them every step, skip, jump, and swing of the way.
And for that, we love and thank her.
Now would someone please pour the woman a stiff drink and prop her feet up on a pillow?