I dropped this guy at school this morning for 5th Grade Science Camp:
They’re going to the same camp I went to back when it was “6th Grade Science Camp,” before kids were more mature and worldly. I’ve been meticulously (nervously) gathering things from the packing list for a week in preparation (NO ankle socks? But ankle socks are in! That’s what they all wear now. That’s all we own! TWO pairs of shoes? What rich-ass Arizona kid owns TWO pairs of non-flipflop shoes? That’s just indulgent!). Of course, when we actually got to school with his carefully packed bag full of labeled, weather-appropriate clothing, and his specifically garbage bag covered bedding, tied and labeled as directed (neither too heavy for him to carry himself) and were getting out of the car we had this conversation:
Gray: Oh that’s Kale right there. He’s in my cabin.
Gray: Like the salad, yeah.
Me: That’s weird.
Me: Where is your jacket?
Gray: … oh… um, at home. On the couch.
Me (going nuclear before his eyes): You left your jacket at home? YOU LEFT YOUR JACKET AT HOME?!!
Gray: I’m sorry-
Me: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? THAT IS LIKE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEEDED TO BRING!! I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU.
Kale’s mom (as we almost run into her): Wow! These 5th graders sure are wound up today, aren’t they?
Me (frantically, trying to keep my tone of voice from getting shrieky): Yeah. Mine just told me he left his jacket at home. So I really need to get him up there quick so I can run home and grab it.
Gray: I’m sorry, mom.
Kale’s mom (cheerfully): Haha, that sounds like something that would happen at our house!
Me (in my head): Oh really? So it sounds like something that would happen at your house, but it DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAPPEN TO YOU, DID IT? PLEASE TAKE YOUR CHILD YOU NAMED AFTER YOUR FAVORITE SIDE DISH AT WHOLE FOODS AND GET OUT OF MY WAY BEFORE I STAB YOU WITH THE CORKSCREW I KEEP IN MY PURSE FOR EMERGENCIES LIKE THIS.
Me (out loud): Haha, yeah. Kids. Why did I have them?
In the car on the way home, after my brain stopped boiling, I remembered how this exact thing also happened not only to Jonas on our trip to Colorado to meet their new cousin last month, but also to me when I went to run Ragnar in Oregon last fall: jacket set out of the luggage, ready to be carried on the trip until we get to the cold place and need to put it on, forgotten on the couch. I think it’s just sometimes hard for Arizona people to remember about warm clothes and shit like that that rarely ever applies to our normal lives. I could hardly blame him for a flaw he clearly comes by naturally.
When I got back up to the school, jacket in hand, I made sure to apologize to him for being angry and tell him I hoped he had so much fun and that I loved him, if only so the last thing his mother said to him before he left for three days wasn’t, I’m going to murder you.
On the upside, because I was at the school late, right before they were getting ready to leave, I got to snap a picture of his whole cabin together:
I took four photos and that kid in front is making that face in every one. I’m pretty sure he was fucking with me. They’re going to have a great time. And in 20 years I’m going to post this on his Timeline on Spacetagram or Futurebook or whatever social media they have then that beams content directly into your brain and when that kid in the back, Kale, gets tagged he’ll think, Aw, I remember that day. I totally heard Gray’s mom threaten him with homicide. My mom never let me go over to his house after that.