Dad drives down the bumpy dirt road toward a group of wooden cabins. We look for the one with the “Welcome Hawks” banner, park, and start to unload the car.
A tall lanky kid comes out of the cabin and takes one of the duffle bags from Dad.
“Hi, I’m Matt. I’m the counselor for the Hawks.”
Dad picks up a second duffle bag and motions towards Tommy and me as we stand beside him, “Hi Matt. This here is Nathan and Tommy.”
“Hey guys,” Matt says. “Welcome to the Hawks.”
Off to the side, a group of maybe ten other boys are all hanging out, laughing, and goofing around. I wonder if they are also Hawks.
Mom walks over to me and throws her arms around my body, in front of everyone... EVERYONE.
“Oh, Nathan!” she wails, “I’ve never been away from you this long! I’m going to miss you so much!”
I try to break free, but her clutch is too strong. The other kids have stopped what they are doing and are now all watching us.
“Don’t forget,” she continues, still using her my voice gets louder and higher pitched whenever I get upset voice, “make sure you write home and don’t drink too much water before you go to sleep.”
“Yeah, Nathan,” Abby blurts just as loudly, “you know what happens when you drink too much water before bedtime. I just hope for the sake of the other Hawks that you don’t get a top bunk!”
“That’s not funny, Abby!” I break away and try to take a swing at her, but she jumps into the van too fast for me to get her and slides the door shut.
I look over at the other boys, who are now staring at me. Even Tommy has taken a few steps back, seemingly trying to disassociate himself from me.
“Now, Nathan,” Mom continues, only this time in a low voice so no one else can hear. “You know that’s not what I meant. I just know how sometimes you get the hiccups and can’t fall asleep.” Mom kisses the top of my head one more time and gives Tommy a normal hug. “You boys have a great time.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Rockledge,” Tommy replies.
Hehehe - parents can be so embarrassing when they drop their kids off at overnight came - er - I mean, I wouldn't know.
To learn more about the Nate Rocks Series and Nate Rocks the BoatWebsite: www.karentoz.com
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