It was the night before Lewis left for two weeks at summer camp. Using the packing list that the camp had provided, he was checking off items as he stashed them in his big plastic footlocker. He had four bathing suits, twelve pairs of underwear a new package of socks, a rain poncho, a polar fleece and bug spray. Check, check, check.
“I need a bucket for my cosmetics,” he said.
“You know, my toothbrush and stuff,” Lewis explained.
“Can’t you just carry your toothbrush to the latrine or whatever it’s called? You have to transport it in a bucket?”
“It’s called The College,” Lew explained. “And the list says I need a bucket.”
Now, if I had known he needed a bucket, we could have picked one up at Target when we bought the poncho, the bug spray and the new pack of socks. Instead, I combed through the house looking for something that could hold Lewis’s paltry collection of toiletries.
“How about this?” I held my daughter’s Vera Bradley cosmetic bag.
Lew rolled his eyes.
I inventoried the Tupperware in the kitchen, scoured the basement, the bedrooms and the bathroom and finally dumped all of my makeup (which includes considerable collection of wrinkle cream)out of the plastic container I use to keep my arsenal from overtaking the bathroom and into a canvas shopping bag.
“Voila! A bucket!” I announced.
“Can you wash it out with really, really hot water?” Lewis requested.
I ran it through the dishwasher, thus killing feminine bacteria or girl/mom cooties, and handed the sanitized plastic tub to Lewis.
“Thanks,” he said as he carefully arranged his toothbrush(in a plastic tube), comb, sunscreen, bug spray, travel-size toothpaste and body wash (teenage boys are too macho for soap) in the bucket.
“Can I borrow your digital camera, too?” Lewis asked.
I cringed. I use my camera – not just for this blog, but I have hundreds of images waiting to be downloaded , uploaded and embedded onto my Facebook page, my Twitter account and forwarded to relatives who still haven’t seen my oldest son’s high school graduation pictures from 2004.
“Be careful with it,” I said. Lewis opened the new package of socks, gently wrapped a pair around the camera and placed it his trunk.