Mary, Pete and their two precious babies hold a very special place in my heart. Mary is a camp girl and was a counselor when I was at camp teaching my swimming classes and was also Head of the Waterfront! Counselors like Mary showed me how much fun the River could be which later lead me to also become a WSI (Water Safety Instructor), Lifeguard and Head of the Waterfront just like her.
After a break from camp, Mary came back as Program Director and brought her amazing husband Pete with her. Being her Assistant Program Director for two years meant that we spent a lot of time together, many hours pouring over scheduling, planning activities and laughing. Our second year together she brought another guy to the camp family, Thomas, who was only three months old at the time. The first time I had ever experienced a baby living at camp with us and let me tell you, us counselors fell in love. We poured over websites tracking his development and determining that he was “so advanced!”. We watched every milestone from blowing bubbles to tummy time to trying to roll over. It was the first time I realized how exciting this age of development is, when you can see differences in them every single day. The next year Thomas was taking his first steps at camp!
Mary, Pete, Thomas and their new baby Elizabeth live in New Zealand so we rarely get the opportunity to see each other so I jumped at the chance to spend a day with them walking around Lewis Botanical Gardens. Reuniting with Thomas after a few years wasn’t the meet cute you’d imagine. Obviously he couldn’t remember me but upon seeing me he burst into tears and determined that I was a scary lady. What’s a girl to do when a boy cries and calls you scary!? Play it up!
That’s right, I became “Scary Lady” and decided that tickling, friendly chasing and play would be my evil superpowers! We had a blast! Elizabeth, is a doll baby and took no time at all to warm up. She was smiling and standing up all by herself! You can tell she loves her brother and looks to him with wide eyes like she’s watching everything he does! We walked around the gardens, looking at flowers and different decorations they had set up. I loved getting to catch up with Pete, who’s company Dinosaur Polo Club is about to launch their long awaited game “Mini Metro” and soak up all of the great New Zealand accent that Thomas has picked up on too! Pete is a game genius and is incredibly creative. He once made a game for the pre-camp (when the counselors bond and do set up work for camp) that emulated The Hunger Games. We each got an alka-seltzer and “weapons” like buckets, water balloons, super soakers. The last person with their alka-seltzer still intact won, it was THE BEST!
I digress… Needless to say, I love this family. I love Mary and everything she did to help me grow as a leader at camp, she taught me a lot about hard work, organization and being fair to everyone. In case you haven’t already gathered, I love her family too! Mary, thank you for contacting me to set up this session with your short time back in the states. I’m so glad I got to see you and Pete, meeting Elizabeth and reuniting with Thomas. Hopefully my new identity of “Scary Lady” will be more memorable for our next hang out.
Love you all and I love these pictures!
<3 Scary Lady
Singing songs with his Mom! “Peel Banana, peel peel banana”. Nothing is as cute as hearing words from little ones in foreign accents!