Summer Camp: A Matter of Perspective
The day before I was to leave, my dad surprised me with a Brownie camera. He loaded the film and gave me instructions on how to use it. I only had film for twenty four pictures so I had to make each one count.
Camp was everything I’d hoped it would be. I was part of a large, loud and happy band of little girls who rode, swam, made leather tooled
After three days of taking pictures, my film was used up so I carefully put the camera back into its box and tucked it neatly into the corner of my trunk; my mother’s reminder to “keep things nice and neat” lingered in my brain.
End of camp came too soon but my parents assured me that I could come again next year. When we arrived back home my dad carried my trunk into the laundry room. Minutes later my mother called me, sounding none too pleased.
“What is this?” she frowned, looking at my orderly, virtually untouched clothes. “What on earth did you wear all week? Everything is still in here just the way I packed it.”
“Every day I put on clean undies,” I explained, “but my favorite jeans and tee shirt never got dirty so I kept wearing them. Didn’t I do a good job keeping everything nice and neat?”
I still remember her, hands on hips, indignantly staring down at me. “I told you to be nice and neat. I wanted YOU to put on clean clothes every day.” To myself, I thought she should have been a little more specific but I kept it to my six year old self.A few days later my dad came home with my camp photos. Excited, I spread them out on the kitchen table. When he saw my photos of a horse’s eye, a whiskered muzzle, part of a head but no body and not one single person, he asked me where the people were. I told him I could see people anywhere, but not horses. Then he asked me why I didn’t have a picture of a whole horse. I explained that I was a lot shorter than a grown up and had to look “up” at practically everything and take what I could get. He chuckled and gave me a hug. “I guess we have different perspectives.”
In the other room, my mother muttered, “Tell me about it!”