Monday, June 1, 2009

Water Balloons Among Friends

With red squirt gun in hand, Kurt sprayed water down the pine tree's trunk. He would sometimes dig out old toys, as he did now, while we camped. He easily entertained himself with collecting kindling, tending a fire once his dad got it going, and playing with small construction vehicles. Although he is twenty, developmentally his skills ranged from five to teen.

That made it hard for Kurt to socialize. We found some activities where he could join in with peers: challenger baseball, therapeutic horseback riding and his twice weekly work at Community Homestead.

While sixteen-year-old Kelly usually brought a friend or two on camping trips (this time, two), Kurt didn't have someone to bring.

Meanwhile, I found a bag of water balloons and set them on the table outside. Maybe the boys will use them.

Kelly and his guests sauntered across the grass to our campsite after their swim. They threw their towels over the clothesline, and plopped down in chairs. Thomas saw the balloons.

“Oh!” He grabbed them and ran to the water faucet.

Pretty soon, all three teens were having a water balloon fight, with round wet spots appearing on their t-shirts. Kurt joined in with his squirt gun, laughing and running along with them.

Kelly and his friends decided to fill several balloons and sneak up on some girls they knew. They invited Kurt. Off they went.

I smiled, grateful they had included Kurt.

When they came back, Kelly said, “Kurt giggled and covered his mouth the whole time we were sneaking up.” He smiled. “And then he squirted me!”

Kurt laughed.

For me, this was the highlight of the weekend.

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