Monday, October 06, 2008

just when you think you've had about as much as you can stand.... of your kids comes through for you and helps you remember that life isn't entirely made up of one scandal, one tragedy, one misguided notion after the next. And I thank God for my kids every day.

The latest reminder of all things fun and wonderful and surprising about life comes courtesy of my youngest (by eleven minutes) son, Cameron. He was talking about some friends of his and I thought about one of the summer evenings they spent together. During one of those last August evenings, when we had a week of the first cool nights that were inevitably coming our way, Cameron and some of his friends took in a double feature at one of the area drive-ins.

The evening started out comfortably enough but by the time the intermission began, the temperature had dropped at least ten or fifteen degrees, and the air had a legitimate chill in it for the first time in months. Cameron and his friends were headed to the refreshment stand and unfortunately, Cam was the only one without a hoodie or even long sleeves. The idea of sitting through the second movie as he grew increasingly colder wasn't pleasant.

Friends to the rescue. Luckily, the boy who drove to the movie always carries a gorilla costume in his trunk. Yes, a complete gorilla suit, including a headpiece and gorilla face. That's being resourceful and creative at the same time. Cameron quickly suited up and everyone walked to the refreshment stand in relative comfort.

The best part of the story is not that Cameron felt perfectly at ease putting on a gorilla suit at a drive in. Not that he walked by dozens of people who stepped aside for a gorilla. Not that this could be called slightly unconventional by almost everyone. No, the best part was that the people working in the snack bar gave him a fried banana and his friend Pat took a picture of him eating it.

I love this story. I love it because truthfully, only Cameron could casually and with no affectation at all put on a gorilla suit and wear it around a drive-in movie. I love it because it's exactly the kind of story you think about when you think of kids and funny things they do precisely because they are kids. I love it because sometimes, maybe when Cameron may be driving me crazy about school or college applications or something else that is quite earth-shattering and possibly life-altering (in my mind, not in reality) I can remind myself that he once wore a gorilla suit to get warm and buy a bucket of popcorn at a movie.

I may not ever remember his high school trig grades, which may turn out to be blessing anyway, but I'll never forget about the night he wore the gorilla suit at the drive in.

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