Cameron is a very active 9-year-old. It was our week to have him for a stretch this summer. With his Indiana cousins all going back to school much earlier, finding ways to keep him occupied was quite a challenge.
We prepared a busy schedule, and it worked. By the end of the week he wasn’t bursting with energy quite as much. Of course, neither were we.
Getting back to Anderson from our exchange point, we headed for Aunt Sarah’s, where Cameron and LeeAnn talked us into letting him stay overnight. Then we headed for the Indianapolis Zoo on Sunday before meeting Aunt Becky and Aunt Ruth plus cousins Courtney, Jason, Ronnie and Gracie at Becky’s for supper and a quick swim in the pond near Becky’s home. It would be the only time all six cousins would get together during the week.
Monday was a trip to the Indiana State Fair. We got the obligatory picture of Cameron on a giant John Deere tractor wheel. But he wasn’t sitting in it – he was spreadeagled like a monkey. Cameron carefully guided us around the fecal minefield of the animal barns. By the time it was time to head for Aunt Ruth’s for supper, he was one tired kid (as for us, our feet and legs were about to drop off).
Tuesday afternoon was Colts camp. Colts City was closed, but the souvenir shop was still there and he found a set of football cards with all his favorite players.
Naturally he had to stay for autographs after practice. He picked up scribbled signatures from Adam Vinatieri, Pat McAfee, Ahmad Bradshaw, Pat Angerer and a few others before a golf cart pulled up with quarterback Andrew Luck aboard.
The presence of Luck was akin to a magnet drawing metal shavings to a core as fans elbowed their way toward a coveted autograph. Cameron was right in the middle. “I can’t see him,” Bonnie said, “he’ll get trampled.” No way. He wriggled his way through the crowd, getting to the front just as Luck’s handlers called him away. “Sorry, gotta go,” Luck said, and Cameron failed in that quest.
Wednesday was an Indianapolis Indians game, a rare day game at Victory Field. Cameron couldn’t see too well and was getting antsy when Uncle Eddie suggested they head for a couple of open seats in the front row. There he could see just fine. It also was a good launching point for autographs from manager Dean Treanor and from Jerry Sands, whose three-run double won the game for the Tribe.
Around this schedule we sandwiched a couple of movies, Smurfs 2 and Despicable Me 2.
Cameron never runs down. He loves to scurry up door frames, swing and drop to the floor, rolling and coming up chirping, “I’m fine.”
And we love to have him. But I’m not sure we can stand too many weeks a year like that.
Jim Bailey’s column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.