You know Hilary Clinton’s saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” well, in the case of my nephew Christian that’s what happened. This is not to take anything away from the wonderful work his mom, Chesne, has done – she surely should be applauded for the young man she has raised – but because she and my brother were only teenagers when Christian was born, a lot of us have had a hand in guiding him through his almost 17 years. To me, he has filled a void of not having children of my own, and not only is he my nephew and my godson; he has become my good friend.
He is frank and sarcastic, quick to understand the family dynamics. He still comes to my house every other weekend and most holidays. Yesterday, he was a child. He is fast becoming a man. But to his Mom and his Dad, his Nana and his Grandpa and me, his Auntie Bee (his nickname for me from the time he could talk) he will always be our little boy.
Last Wednesday, this little boy went off to a Winter Survival Camp. He is coming home on Sunday. Christian is already part of an intensive Criminal Justice Program through his school, but this camp is with adults – we discovered the next youngest person with his group is 20 and we are presently experiencing a blizzard here in Vermont. We think Christian is sleeping in a debris hut.
You can imagine how nervous we’ve all been. Chesne told Christian she would not text him until she heard from him, but after a couple of days we still hadn’t received any word. My father finally sent a text to Christian’s mentor, who is also working at the camp. Today, he finally answered back, letting us know that Christian is doing well and holding his own. This instigated another rush of texts between family members as we filled each other in on the news. I’m sure Christian will come back a little taller and prouder, a little less the boy and a little more the man. Wherever he goes he’ll be fine, we’ve all seen to that. I just hope we will be.