Being the youngest of three boys can't be easy. Ben has spent his whole life trying to keep up with his brothers. Now, as he is getting a little older, he is finally getting to do some of the things that he has watched his brothers do.
One of those things is Boy Scout camp.
Ben was so excited (and nervous) for Boy Scout camp. And I was nervous too.
Ben was dropped off with the leaders on Wednesday morning and just a few short hours later the rest of my kids were commenting on how they already missed Ben. Grace insisted on making him "I miss you" cards and as the days wore on Tommy complained about how much he missed his roommate. I think the boys were caught off guard with how much they missed their little brother.
By Friday's family night we were all really anxious to see Ben again. We drove out to camp feeling like it had been a week since we'd seen our Benny, not just a couple of days.
Reunited and it felt so good. Ben was equally excited to see us and the hugs that ensued were so sweet. I wish I would have gotten pictures but I was too busy giving hugs myself.
The rest of the evening was spent laughing and hugging. Over and over again the kids told Ben how much they missed him. And he missed us too. By the end of the night I was questioning whether Ben even wanted to stay that extra night or not. I asked Ben if he wanted to come home with us and he said he did but that he thought he should see it through until the end. And he did.
It was a great experience for Ben. A growing experience. An experience he was proud of.
This summer Ben also had a chance to catch up with his brothers in sports.
It's not easy being the youngest brother forever trying to play catch up. Many times Ben has come to me in tears because he is so frustrated always being the one trying to keep up. Time and again I have reminded him that he is much younger than his brothers and all of his efforts to play at the same level they do will pay off. I also remind him that he is a tall boy and one day he will tower over his two older brothers. That usually gets a smile out of him.
This summer Ben is the one in the lead.
Ben is the only one of my kids playing a sport right now. Joe and Tommy decided to take the summer off but Ben was very excited to take a step up in baseball. It is a new experience for Ben to have his older brothers following him around to his games instead of the other way around. Ben has been used to taking a backseat to all of his brothers adventures and it was a source of frustration for him. Not anymore.
The kid who has struggled to play catch with his brothers, who was always on the bottom of the dog pile, who came in last place in all the big boys' races and games is getting his moment.
Benny was on fire last night at his baseball game. The kid knocked the ball into the outfield every time he stepped up to the plate. He played the pitcher position as well (although they have the coaches do the actual pitching) and caught ball after ball. He stopped the grounders and threw perfectly to first and third to get players out time and again.
I had to laugh every time Ben made a play because he got so excited that he would hop up and down afterwards. So sweet.
I think this is the summer is a big year of growth for Ben. It is the summer of Ben