I'm excited for him. I loved camp and continue to be friendly with fellow campers I met at sleepaway camp when I was 8. I actually ran into one of them, Danny Rosenberg, at an event this week and elegantly knocked over his beer. Let's just say that if we didn't go to camp together about 30 years ago, he would have been much less happy about my successful effort to come between him and his beer.
Sleepaway camp is an amazing experience. You make friends. Learn how to get along on your own in a controlled setting. And you have a great, great time.
Going to camp is a different experience these days. I went for 8 weeks. Myles is going for 4. My parents walked me to the gate at Washington National airport (there was no TSA or even security at the airports back then and you could actually walk to the gates even if you weren't flying that day!). I dropped Myles off at a mall outside NY. I went to camp with a few clothes and the only electronic device I brought was a flashlight, and maybe a clock radio. Myles is going with a small iPod, an electric fan, a flashlight and more.
On Thursday night, I decided to fill up Myles' iPod with new music. I also threw in a few special goodies, including a Kid Cudi song and a voice message from each of us. It wasn't easy to get Cole and Vivi to say something. But after agreeing what they wanted to say and then with a little prodding from me, they successfully recorded their messages.
At first, I thought about making this a surprise but decided to share the messages with Myles before he left.
After hearing this message from Cole (click here to play), Myles started to tear up. He had been excited for a while to go to camp. But his excitement was now mixed with nervous insecurities about whether other campers will like him and sadness of being away from his family. All emotions I'm sure he hadn't felt all together at once.
Myles walked to Cole. He said he loved Cole as well. Cole asked why he was crying. Without thinking, Myles whispered softly to Cole "Tears of joy."
I don't think I'll ever forget this interaction. While I am a little sad not to have Myles around, Cole has never lived without Myles around. They shared a room for years. And whether they would admit it or not, they are each others' anchors, even as they fight, bicker, tweak and beat the crap out of each other.
Witnessing this tenderness and emotional connection between Myles and Cole was special and pretty much all you can ask for as a parent. Friends, colleagues, business partners, investors and even spouses, come and go. If you do your job well as a parent, the bonds between your siblings won't. In the end, these bonds are all they can rely on as a constant in their lives.