“Whatcha drinkin’, Chloe?” Camden asked. He watched me sip coffee from a straw.
“Coffee,” I said, setting my cup out of his reach.
“I don’t drink that, but when I’m bigger I’ll like it,” Camden told me. He resumed playing with his blocks.
About a year later, Camden likes drinking “hot chocolate coffee” (which is just hot chocolate).
Camden entered the world in May 2014 and became like a little brother to me. Camden and I bonded the most in spring 2016 when I had senior privileges and my school day ended at noon. Camden usually spent the afternoon teaching me about shapes.
“I’m holding a trapezoid,” Camden told me, holding up a 3D shape. “And this is a diamond.”
Now almost four years old, Camden is still teaching me.
Camden taught me the names of every “Star Wars” character, whether the character is good or bad, and the name of their spaceship. Camden enjoys pretending to be different characters from the original trilogy and the LEGO movies.
“Sometimes I’m Luke Skywalker. Or a storm trooper. Or Jek. He has a little blue arm,” Camden explained while showing me each character. When he’s playing, Camden only answers to the name of that character.
Camden taught me the best way to play with “Star Wars” spaceships and where the lasers shoot from. This is valuable knowledge when you’re chasing him around the room with a plastic spaceship – but don’t think you can beat him, because Camden has trick moves and he’s fast. Camden runs everywhere, so if you think you can outrun him, think again. (Seriously. He once ran 400 meters nonstop.)
Despite his constant busyness, nothing escapes Camden’s notice. When I quietly brewed a cup of coffee while we FaceTimed, Camden noticed the slight distraction.
“What are you doing, Chloe?” Camden asked. “What’s that noise?”
I explained I was brewing coffee and asked what he was drinking.
“I got this little water bottle,” Camden said. Camden raised the bottle for me to see. “And I put one in the fridge for Lauren so when she comes to visit, it’s cold.”
Camden loves helping his buddies. He enjoys helping his mom take care of his little sister, hanging pictures with his dad, helping my mom bake (translation: sitting on the counter while she bakes), riding in the tractor with my dad and teaching us the rules to his favorite games.
“When the ghost turns this color, I gotta eat him,” Camden explained.
Camden started teaching me lessons two years ago when he showed me a trapezoid. Now, Camden reminds me to help the people I love. Camden also reminds me to be as happy as his favorite shape, a circle, which becomes a smiley face.
P.S. Enjoy this comparison of Caleb and me to Camden and Marlowe.
Pictures and interview used with permission from Camden’s mother, Naomi Kocer.