I haven’t felt like blogging in a while because no one incident would take up a whole page, so I’ll give you the gist of it. (You know, I’ve never had to actually spell the word ”gist” before. I’ve said it a hundred times, but never had to write it and had to look it up in the dictionary. Weird, huh?) April showers bring: police.
My husband and I went grocery shopping (it’s been six hours, I know) and missed a few calls from our son. By the time we called him back–panic–he had called the cops terrified that we were shot dead in a gutter somewhere. What had he been watching? Well, he’s not watching it anymore I can tell you that! We were embarassed and horrified to say the least. We got home and the cops were still there, I gave my son a big hug, I felt stupid in front of a cop . . . again, and naturally sent the kids to bed early. Now, when we want to run errands in peace, we leave our older son still in charge but leave his little sister in charge of the phone to make sure he doesn’t call the police again. (Obviously unless there is a “real” emergency.) I think we’ve been out to dinner once since. And it was while they were in school. Oh, and my youngest kid turned eight.
May: Mother’s Day. I got breakfast and some cute crafts from my kids that they made in school. I don’t recall anything funny happening. I did get scolded for soaking dishes, though. It was my day “off.”
End of May: Sixth grade camp with my son. We meet up with the rest of the sixth graders at the school waiting to go on the bus. Then we received a laminated card to wear like a necklace AT ALL TIMES. We waited some more. Oh, then we waited even more. Then we waited a little longer and dragged our baggage to cars where people said “Squeeze it in and hopefully you’ll find it when we get to the camp that is two hours away.” Then we waited again.
Then we are squeezed onto a bus where my son doesn’t know anybody and we can’t even sit next to each other. Before we leave the school, the principal tells us, “Remember the car that has your baggage. You will use the same car when we leave camp in two and a half days.” Oh great. Thank goodness for my twelve-year-old’s memory or we would’ve been screwed.
Camp Whitcomb Mason: (I found out where we were going a week before departing. They kept the name of the camp a state secret all year–very helpful guys!) We get off the bus and are told, ”The name of your cabin is on your tag. Find your cabin!!”
Um, that isn’t helpful for several reasons: 1) I’ve never been here before. 2) The map we were given is reminisent of a child’s drawing containing point A and point B and one line. 3) The camp is not in a line, not even a child’s example of a line. 4) It was cold and raining and we were forced to drag our heavy baggage around with us until we found our cabin. 5) Some of the cabins are hidden under heavy trees, steel, and an immigration wall. My feet are wet already.
6) There is no smoking or drinking. We meet up at the main building and waited some more . . . in the rain. Then we waited even longer in heavier rain. Who’s in charge? No one’s in charge. I am in a cabin with girls, for obvious reasons, and I don’t know their names or who they are. I know them by numbers. It’s kind of like prison. I especially remember #11. That’s all I’m sayin’. More waiting and more rain and finally we play musical chairs in the main dining hall of our side of the camp.
Yes, there are two sides. My kid’s friends, of course, are on the other side. We are on Friendship side. It’s not friendly. The James side is the camp for the rich and famous. Over there, you don’t have to walk to the bathroom using a flashlight, it smells nicer, chaperones get their own bathroom, and it looks like where characters from “Different Strokes” would stay if they were forced to go to camp. Our side, well, characters from “Good Times” (where good times never happened) would be content with it and not complain. At least they probably had a lot of socks. Even poor people manage to have plenty of socks.
I, however, neither poor nor rich brought the recommended amount listed on the sheet that displayed what we can and cannot bring. It was three pairs. I brought four–the pair I was wearing, the pair I changed into during “free time the very first day,” a pair for the next day, and a pair to go home in. This was not enough. I suffered. By the second day, my feet were turning into fish and I desperately wanted to put a fresh pair of socks on but only had one pair left. I felt very high-maintence.
To make matters worse, I noticed my son did not bring his new pair of shoes, the ones without holes in them. He said, “I know. I changed my mind at the last minute.” This means he does not have a back-up pair of shoes. This means I don’t have a back-up pair of shoes. I’m a mom. He can’t suffer. I brought “Now ‘n’ Laters,” licorice bites, and fruit-flavored tootsie rolls (just in case he didn’t eat the typical cafeteria food. What? I didn’t say I was a super mom.), and now I have to give him my shoes from last summer that are no longer white and you have to physically tie them. There’s no velcro here! This is a challenge enough for him, but there is NO way in the firey depths of Hell I was giving him my warm, toasty socks that I had been hoarding for the next morning (You’d think I was starving and dreaming up a nice, juicy steak to keep my feet warm.). Kids need to learn the value of good packing. However he did bring soap. He didn’t use it, but he brought it . . . “just in case.” Just in case I made him use it, presumably.
In between the suffering, waiting and freezing with no direction whatsoever, we actually did some stuff. We walked, we tied-dyed, we sang camp songs, we walked some more, we dug bones out of owl puke, we had smores, then we walked again, we played games a lot while “dads” were on their cell phones pretending to be busy, and then, as shocking as this may sound, we walked and waited some more . . . in cold, evil, unforgiving rain.
My feet were wet for so long that they itched all night. My biggest worry? Ticks. Ever since I was a kid they find their way up my sleeve or the back of my neck or up my shorts (that was just by walking my dumb dog). I wore pants and no perfume=no ticks. This was my only break.
Still I got to spend quality time with my son and then we waited to get on the damn bus as soon as super humanly possible. The day we left was, ironically, perfect. Sunshine and warmth–it was a song out of the sixties. We had been to war and the government was sending their troops home. I told my son “Let’s get in line now before everyone else, and when they blow the whistle, we’ll make a run for it!” We had a lot of fun together. I’ll never forget racing for that bus. And you know what? We got to sit together.