We hurried past the Bear Huts but we could still hear a burst of hooting and laughter as we passed the upper field and headed towards the beach. More secrets undoubtedly.
The Cord Hut was down in the shallow end of the water. My three sped up when they saw the campers. They ran past me. I watched them as they started to pull off their t-shirts as they went. Once they reached the beach they tore off their shorts and shoes and tossed them on the sand, dashed into the water and joined in.
I took my time. I grabbed a lawn chair out of the beach hut. I placed it in the shade along the edge of the sand. I placed my bag down, took off my sandals and peeled off my shirt (bathing suit ready!) and folded it. I grabbed the kids clothing and shoes. I sat in the chair and shook the sand out and then folded their clothes and piled them up beside me. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to fold our dirty clothes but I did. Old habits die hard. As I folded I watched the water game.
All the Cord Hut campers were walking in an enormous circle in the shallow water. They were creating a whirlpool. It was gathering velocity. The counselors were shouting over the laughter and excited chatter.
“Pick up the pace everyone!”
I noticed Patrick begin to struggle in the deeper end as the water reached his mid chest. A twinge of fear penetrated my heart. I dropped the shirt I was folding as I got up from my chair and started towards him. The water creeped up past his shoulders. He seemed oblivious, his mouth set in a broad smile. I paused as I tried to consider how exactly I was going to get through to him quickly without getting caught up in the current myself. I stepped forward in a run when I noticed Adam reach down towards Patrick, his chin now barely above the water, still with a smile on his face, and grabbed him under his arms. Adam lifted him up and brought him out to me on the beach. Patrick was not happy.
“Saved your life, little man! You need a life jacket before you will be allowed back into the Atomic Whirlpool!”
“Thank you Adam!”
“You’re welcome!” Adam said over his shoulder as he ran back into the water.
“Let’s get you a lifey!” I grabbed Patrick’s hand and we hurried back to the beach shed. I found a small jacket and strapped it on him.
“But it won’t be fun now!” He complained and pouted. I picked him up, sat him on my hip and took him back down to the water.
“Trust me. This will be more fun.” I said. I waited for a break in the circle and then stepped into ring and moved towards the center where I plopped Patrick into the water in the middle of the whirlpool. He immediately began to revolve with his head safely above the water, now with the flotation device. He hooted with delight and raised his arms above his head. He was in the eye of the storm now.
I found myself swept up in the current and fell in behind Jake as I churned through the water, running in the circle. My shorts were soaking wet now.
“Stop!” Jake yelled. All the Cord Hut campers plunged into the water. I followed suit. The current easily swept us all along its elliptical path much like a lazy river.
“Woo hoo!” Campers cheered as they floated along. “Atomic Whirlpool!”
I had to laugh as I saw as Sarah and Megan float passed me with unbridled glee.