Summer Brings New Adventures for the MacDonald Men

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by Joe MacDonald |

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This summer brings a tinge of melancholy as the Sangre de Oro Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation has announced that its usual weeklong summer camp will not meet in person.

While I understand the reason for avoiding unnecessary health risks, I still feel sad for the regular participants who must wait another year to return to normal. Both of my boys have enjoyed their camping experiences, as they’re able to reunite with friends they don’t get to see during the school year.

It is powerful when the bleeding disorders community comes together to spend a week with people facing the same medical issues. No one needs to explain their unique situation. It is like a respite from the real world.

To provide a time for adventures during the summer, my youngest son and I claim Friday as Museum Day. We pick a place and set out on a day of fun-filled rejuvenation.

Last week, we took a trip to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, approximately 30 miles from our house, we searched for the hidden treasures found only in museums. Our discovery proved exciting and extremely interesting as we talked about many of the world’s issues during World War II and the Cold War. Only my son and I could geek out over such a wealth of information.

We ended the day at a Dairy Queen, celebrating the arrival of summer and enjoying our extraordinary odyssey that only time with a dad and son can bring. I may not be one of my son’s friends, but I am his father and share a connection with him that I hope to cultivate. With each adventure, we celebrate who we are away from the noise that tends to separate us.

Maybe this new “Daddy Camp” restores my soul as well as my stinky son. I rediscover that my most important relationships are with my family. This small afternoon retreat reminds me to keep first things first.

As for future adventures, we hope to take a quick trip up to Santa Fe to discover places such as Meow Wolf, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the New Mexico History Museum. Wherever we go, we know that we will have a great time, laughing as only we can. Camp is a significant part of my son’s life, but so is time with his dad. Our search for madcapped excursions reminds us that we are essential to each other. I hope never to forget that time is the most precious resource, and my family should receive the best of what I have.

For my son’s sake, I hope that camp resumes next year, and he will share wonderful times with his fellow blood brothers. For now, I have his attention this summer and hope to utilize whatever time I have with my big, stinky boy.

Perhaps, as things return to what we call “normal,” one of the takeaways from a year like no other is the reminder to make time with family a priority. While we express gratitude that the world survived this horrible pandemic, the lessons about loving one another fiercely may recall the people we hold sacred. The summer just started, and we have miles to go before we sleep.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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