PAINTING MEMORIES


Way back before the girls started attending Camp, I knew I wanted to do something special, memorable, with them each year just before they went.  I thought long on it and decided to paint camp trunks with them.   You know, trunks; the only luggage you take to camp.  Some call them footlockers.   But not just any trunk, the SAME trunk year after year.  I know, because Camp Peniel was my camp from ages 9-16 as well, that half the fun of going to camp is the anticipation.  Painting thus began.


In the beginning years they would sit beside me eating ice cream and telling me what colors or shapes they liked.  I would paint and we would talk of memories made in that Texas hill country or chit-chat of hopes for the coming summer session.  I would tell them of my fun memories (like our counselor "sneaking" us all out to get ice cream sandwiches from the kitchen in the middle of the night and the thrilling rush of sitting under the stars, blue-bell dripping down my face, melting, on that hot Texas summer night.   And the haunts (like when I rubbed Hersey bar in the underpants of a girl I didnt like and hung them on the line outside the lodge for everyone to see.  They had her name written in sharpie so I made sure it was visible.)  So then when Peytons counselor "snuck" her cabin out for ice cream late one night she knew it was a silent gift from her momma.  And when the bras of someone in Savannah cabin were threatened to be frozen she knew that was SO not a good idea and would do way more damage than was intended.


Savannah announced today that painting camp trunks is her favorite craft of the summer.  Peyton agreed.  I did as well.  One of the most fun parts is removing the paint from the year before and remembering how and why we decorated it the way we did in each season on their lives.  Each year a new version of who they are becoming.


This year we switched roles.  I sat eating frozen treats while they painted.  They asked me "if it looked too done" (because we all HATE that look) and I gave my opinions on colors and shapes.   Just like they have done for me so many years now - 6 for Savannah, 4 for Peyton.   Peyt still had me paint part of hers, but only because shes not feeling well.  I know deep in my heart this was my last year to hold the brush.









Memorable is what I want their life with me to be.  Rich with memories and intentional sharing and meaning.  They told me today that this trunk painting activity is really just a symbol of our relationship together.  If that is true, it makes me very, very happy.