THE NEWBERG REPORT — MARCH 26, 2006

As last week drew closer to this weekend, I grew increasingly concerned about my second campout with Erica. Concerned about how she would handle the nighttime cold, which was going to bad enough in Dallas but certainly would be sharper along the banks of Possum Kingdom Lake.

I figured she’d be OK, as resilient as she is, but I couldn’t shake that instinct that plants in a parent’s mind two things: visions of the worst-case scenario, and ideas (combined with a sense that they’re basically futile, probably) on how to prepare for it, on how I’d respond.

And then yesterday, as the morning chill melted off and I saw her hiking through the brush and cactus, and then guiding Jasmine the horse, and giving the bow and arrow and the BB gun a try, and shaking off that little scrape on Devil’s Island, and dealing with Nap Time (for the dads, not the girls), and braving the mess hall cuisine, I sort of kicked myself for ever worrying.

KinslerLate in the day, I got a voice mail message, and an email, with news that Ian Kinsler had officially won the job he was given an opportunity in camp to win. Kinsler is the Texas Rangers’ starting second baseman.

Not that there should have ever been any real doubt.

After listening to the message, I looked at Erica, who was scaling the rocky wall of our cabin with ease, a wall not really built to be climbed, and felt like asking her to climb down so I could muss her hair with an "attaway," a scene I might have read a dozen times as a kid in all those Chip Hilton novels.

But I didn’t.

It’s human nature, I guess, but it’s sorta silly to doubt what kids are capable of.

So you pack extra sweatshirts and heavy socks and still worry whether you’re prepared enough.

And you sign a guy like D’Angelo Jimenez. Just to be safe.

I’m pretty sure that this spring, Ian Kinsler never asked, "Are we there yet?"

Not even in his own mind.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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