Around noon, I arrived at the church parking lot. Within minutes, Cooper’s Boy Scout troop was due to return from a weekend’s campout. I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of my son’s approach.
“Late again,” I sighed as I rechecked my watch for the third time.
Within minutes, Cooper bounced from a vehicle and bounded towards our car. I leaped out of the driver’s seat and raced towards my son. I imagined our embrace after a weekend apart; I would squeeze his middle and tussle his hair. He would grin and rest his head on my shoulder.
But as we moved closer together, I soaked in his appearance. Muddy streaks caked his forehead and cheeks. His clothes looked as if they were dragged along the highway and then tossed into a pond. And as he came closer, I noted a distinctive odor. Memorable may be the best word to describe it.
“How about a high-five,” I suggested with my hand in the air
He whacked my hand and beamed with elation, “I had the best time.”
Cooper walked over to the car and tossed his equally grimy backpack into the trunk. Then, he jumped into the passenger seat.
On the way home, I rolled down the windows for “better ventilation.” The stench, however, seemed unwilling to vent. During the short commute home, Cooper gushed about his weekend’s events. He mentioned a plethora of outdoor fun, but I heard nothing about a shower. Hygiene it seems is a superfluous activity.
For a tween boy, a weekend classifies as a success when the dirt outweighs the showers.
I reminded myself a little dirt won’t kill him, or his mama.