the definition of irony

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Rylie Mulder, of the Lancelot clan in the village of Camelot, has received the character trait award for GOOD NATURE.

Rylie Girl,

You rocked your little heart out at Spring Hill’s day camp program last week. Monday through Friday, we packed a lunch and dropped you off at church from 9am to 4pm for a day full of skits and activities and friends from school and crazy fun counselors.

You. Did. Great.

On Friday, I watched at the final rally as you joined 350 other campers on stage and sang and danced and waved at people who looked like people you knew. The music was loud, Ry, and you were a little unsure at first… but quick thinking by your counselors on Monday resulted in you participating in the large group activities with a pair of headphones on to mute the chaos. Brilliant. So, there you were on Friday… right up front, headphones on, jumping and wiggling and clapping off-beat. I made have cried. A lot.

We met your Lancelot clan down in your room for the smaller closing ceremony where each camper received a special award singling them out for a character trait your counselors felt you showed most throughout the week.  And yours?

Good Natured, based on Colossians chapter 3, verse 12

So lovely, right?

Ry on lawnmower


when you saw me and Gideon and Abby come down the stairs just before the ceremony, you decided you were done. You were hungry, you were tired, and you did not feel like sitting in a circle for one. more. second.

You were not in the room to accept your Good Natured award because you sucker-punched your brother and took Abby’s monkey away with a few screeches thrown in for good measure.

I was ready, Girl. I saw it coming, but I was completely out of granola bars and humor. I grabbed you and Gideon and Abby and we stepped out of the room so the other campers could have their moment in the spotlight without a Mulder soundtrack.

It wasn’t terribly discreet.

A counselor in gold lamé Hammer pants distracted Gideon by playing catch with stuffed animals while Abby practiced walking- and narrating her journey- up and down the steps. I held you tight while you cried as Gideon flew off chairs and Abby banged and waved on nursery windows.

I thought we were handling things fine, but then Mister Gold Hammer Pants offered to lay-on hands and pray for me… so, you know, I guess everyone could tell it was an off day. When we said, “Amen,” and opened our eyes Gideon was sitting on Abby’s back pulling her hair as sweet pony-tail counselor held her little hand in solidarity.

Your counselor with a mohawk peeked out the door and asked if you were ready to accept your award. You responded with a clear and defiant NO and kicked the air for emphasis (way to get your point across). I cornered you behind the table and blocked your missiles as sweet pony-tail counselor read your award to us out loud in the hallway. Gideon serenaded us with bulldozer sounds and Abby emptied my wallet of every card, receipt, and coin to be found.

Rylie, she said, you are the best thing that’s happened to me all summer. You are willing to try anything. You are an amazing encourager with a gorgeous smile. You find joy in the simple things. Thank you. Thank you for being so Good Natured. 


It was at that moment that I looked at Hammer Man, sweet pony-tail counselor girl, and Mohawk Man… said a tearful Thank You, grabbed an ice cream sandwich, and hit the road. I carried your backpack, Gideon’s bear, and Abby June while keeping a pinky on your collar and a foot on Gus’ heels.

When we finally reached the van, you threw your backpack in your seat and then looked at me in the rearview mirror.

Mom? You cryin’? Want award?

And you set it on the center console.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians chapter 3, verse 12

*big breath*

I’d say we both earned this one, Love. It was messy and there were lots of tears, but we earned that paper of completion.

Love you, Girl.


You are one of God’s chosen, Rylie! Me, too! Let’s work on putting on some new clothes. It will take a lifetime to learn to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. It will take a lifetime and lots of Grace.

Fresh start today, ok? Fresh starts for every one.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

6 responses to “the definition of irony

  • Maria D.

    Ok. So, I cried! I have been here so many time (not with an award that states the exact opposite of how my child is acting – and right now I am thanking God AGAIN for making it so my son did not want to be a munchkin in Trinity Lutheran School’s production of the Wizard of Oz) but that end of it all breakdown in front of our adoring public. At the end of camp this year, Joel spotted us in the crowd when his team came up for their awards and he put is arm around the girl next to him like he was showing us his future wife. And when that was over he was ready to go. No I don’t want to see the other campers get awards. No I don’t want to see the camp video. No I would not like to socialize or give my team leaders hugs and say goodbye. OK. Dodsons are the first ones out the door again – and this is a camp for kids with speech development issues! Ha!

  • violetlemay

    love you and yours, Katie Kate

  • Mandi Watts

    Crying and smiling at the same time! You are amazing, Friend, and so is Rylie!

  • Jean

    EK. SEP. SHUH. NUL!!!!!!!!! 😀 WOW!!!!

  • Penny

    My dear Katie…YOU…are the Picasso of the written word. “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” ~P.P.

  • Missy

    I read. I laughed. I cried. I prayed. May many more awards come to both you girls as you take a stab at each new adventure life throws at you. Because God’s got your back, regardless.

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