It’s Cousins Camp this weekend. Cousins Camp is a decade old tradition wherein my wife and her sister place all of the children of the families in one location, while one of them tries desperately to entertain the kids of the family with crafts and team building exercises for three days while the other goes on a total bender and reconsiders why she had children in the first place. It’s a great tradition.
Well, Cousins Camp this year was at the old Stapley family cabin down’t the Beaver here in Utah. When most people think about Beaver, they think of the high likelihood of speeding tickets and also very classy hats for sale at the gas stations. But for us, it’s about the cabin, a totally rad place that Wendy’s grandparents built and her family keeps up. It’s her happy place. Our friend Addison did this picture of it for Wendy for Mother’s Day:
However, I don’t know if we’ve mentioned this or not, but Payson has Leukemia. Because of this, we were fazed by the high presence of two things at the cabin – super grody dirt germs and medical care that consists entirely of Jack Daniels and leeches. So, being true to the first time parents, we are, we decided, in our wisdom, that Cousins Camp wasn’t in the plans for Little Man.
We get antsy if he gets more than 60 minutes from the hospital, or if he, you know, sneezes. We are super protective. So protective, in fact, that we sent the rest of our kids on a three hour road trip with our oldest behind the wheel even though he got his license to drive like six days ago. So, evidently, if you have a few bad white blood cells you don’t get to do anything fun in the world, but if you have good white blood cells then throttling along at 90mph for three hours on a holiday weekend in a 15 year old Subaru with a driver as experienced as Kim Kardashian at a Chess tournament is just fine. Look, don’t ask for logic. It just is.
So anyway, Payson got to write his own ticket this weekend. He’s got stuck with the old people, in a very dirt-free environment, but we were determined to make his weekend just as fun as he would have had at Cousins Camp. We gave him a blank check, anything he wanted, anything in the whole wide world, just name it. It’s Saturday, it’s time to party, the world is our oyster, so carpe diem dude!
So, of course, he chose to go to McDonald’s and then come home and watch Trolls.
We fought that off by just being honest and telling him the doctors said that Leukemia patients can’t go to McDonald’s on Saturday night because it makes their skin catch fire.
Ok, he said, then let’s go to a pumpkin patch.
So finally, on choice three, he selected the Salt Lake Bees game. Word. Totally within the 60 minute radius, outside, doesn’t cause skin fires, let’s do this.
There was the small issue of him wearing his suit coat to the game, because I guess maybe he thought it was Yacht Club Night at Smiths Ballpark, but whatever. Who doesn’t want to wear a thick cotton poly leisure suit when it’s 94 degrees out?
Also, we weren’t aware that it was free firework night after the game, which ensured that every square inch of the ballpark would be infested with the same high class people that clog the walkways at Costco on Saturday, desperately jockeying for position around the free samples to feed their four children a hearty, nutritious meal. It felt like the subway in Kowloon at rush hour. But anything for free fireworks!
Also, the parking attendant at the vacant, weed filled lot didn’t quite know what to make of a fifteen passenger van seeking a vacant space with only a bald kid, a bald fat guy, and a HAWTT woman, and 12 empty seats on board, but we happily paid the very reasonable $15 and promised to be a bit less conspicuous the rest of the evening.
So anyway, baseball has become a thing for him, and for us. We wrote about that here. He had to quit playing his first year this year, but he earned a trophy and he’s already talking about playing next year, maybe even for a team that scores more than zero runs for the season.
So, awesome night at the ballpark, including:
- A dinner of cheese fries, pretzel bites, root beer, peanuts, and kettle corn. But no Cousins Camp dude, it could be unhealthy for you.
- Some well dressed millennial poster child renob asking Wendy to please not drop her peanut shells on the ground, but place them carefully in a cup. Jeez. Kids these days. So neat and respectful. This ain’t the symphony, Vince!
- Sweet Caroline. BAH BAH BAH!!
- Wendy wore sunglasses I bought for $4.99 at Maverik last summer.
- A 6-3 victory for the good guys.
- Free fireworks, which exploded with such frequency and force and violence that I thought I had unknowingly joined a realistic portrayal of the first 15 minutes of Saving Private Tyan.
- A celebratory lap around the bases on the field to cap off the evening. Wendy ran with him. It’s 90 feet between bases, and I haven’t run that far, in aggregate, since high school.
- A stop at Maverik on the way home, because Payson was so thirsty that his uvula had become so swollen it threatened to choke him. So naturally he bought a plastic candy toy shaped like a toilet, witch suckers shaped like plungers. He’s so working us.
The rest of the weekend includes an edge of your seat excitement visit to church, a swim party with school friends, a couple of times fishing, and dinner at Grandpa’s. It’s so much fun, the other kids are going to want Leukemia next summer!
Too soon? Well, it’s my kid with cancer. Deal with it however you want when it’s your kid.