Tuesday, July 13, 2010
a little Pitt-y party...
Easy to do as a Gemini, there are usually two of us at all times. Invite one and it’s automatically a party. But no, this is no regular party. This is a pity party. Or a Pitt-y party to be perfectly correct.
Boo’s at summer camp this week. She's in Pitt cabin this year. Third time return camper, she’s old hat at this camp thing. No more ‘missing Mommy’ sessions, it’s more of a ‘yeah. Got it…time for you to GO.’
It’s not that bad, but still. I can’t help but see that she’s grown up quite a bit since I took her to her first residential summer camp two years ago. That year I didn’t make it out of the parking area before tears welled up and I had to pull over because I couldn’t see.
One whole week of no contact. No phone calls. No mail. No nothing.
I awoke this early this morning with the flashes of heat lightening illuminating my bedroom. I immediately reached for my cell phone on my nightstand. I’ve got the Weatherbug App on it and have Camp Tippecanoe programmed in to monitor the weather in that area. Camp Tippecanoe is about 115 miles south of here. It’s been unusually hot this past week and I lamented signing her up for camp in July. Seemed like a good idea a few months ago, plus it fit into the rest of the busy summer schedule…but July? It’s usually the hottest in July! What was I thinking? It’s supposed to stay humid and in the high 80's and 90’s all week. There is no air conditioning. How will they manage? Is it raining there? Is it too hot to sleep on that upper bunk? Leslie, the cabin counselor, had said when I emerged from the cabin sweating after helping Boo unpack her things said that one of their fans broke and she was hoping to get a new one. With that info, instead of heading back home perhaps I should have located the closest Wal-mart and brought one back for them.
But they're kids. It probably won't bother her. I shouldn't worry.
Camp Tippecanoe is run by the YMCA. I like that it is a rustic camp. It’s not very built up, located on an undeveloped lake in Stark County. They have all the amenities that they need; running water, flush toilets, electricity…roofs. But they are secluded enough to be part of the wilderness. Or as much wilderness as they want. But no cell phones, no Nintendos, no TV’s, no iPods. This is about camping and bonding with new friends.
It’s considered an Adventure camp. They have horses, swimming, archery and hiking. There are old Indian caves and acres and acres and acres of woods. To get there you follow a gravel road that isn’t located on my cars GPS. It winds you higher and higher into the rolling hills of Ohio around a large meandering reservoir. There is no cell signal once you leave the county road. Actually, even on the county road there is no cell signal. Even my satellite radio lost its oomph 20 miles from camp.
I went to an Adventure camp when I was a kid. I remember it well. For many years I went there. I looked forward to the two weeks spent each summer. Camp Todemeka was even more rustic than Camp Tippecanoe. We slept in covered wagons or teepees. We cooked our own food. We would order the food that we desired from a list and each day they would deliver our daily meal plan. But we wee campers were responsible for our own meals. Cooked over an open fire, no less. We all had ‘kitchen’ duty for meals and if you burned the bacon for breakfast?…well, everyone ate burnt bacon. There were some times that we had to wait for the next meal to get anything somewhat passable to eat. But that was the fun of it.
I’ve felt a little lost since I dropped Boo off on Sunday. I didn’t cry coming home this time. I waited until the morning when I realized I couldn’t wake her as I usually do. The fact that I can’t talk to her makes me want to hear her voice all the more. I've felt very vunerable and emotional these past few days, constantly on the verge of tears.
Some of it I’m sure has to do with missing the Bear. But I’ve been thinking of my mom a lot lately as well. The feeling of not being able to talk to Boo has brought back the feeling I had when I could no longer talk to mom every day. After her last stroke, she lost her ability to communicate…so I couldn’t just call like always when I wanted to hear her voice. It was horrible. Prior to that stroke I spoke to my mom every single day on the phone and I no longer could.
This afternoon I took a nap in Boos bed. Why? Because I could. I didn’t have anything else on the schedule this afternoon. The way I feel presently, it’s an amazing feat that I even showered or got somewhat dressed. But I also did it because the sheets smell of her. It gave me a little comfort. Made me miss her a little less.
While lying there with my eyes closed I saw my mom’s face, like it was hanging above me. It made me cry. It’s a year to the date that we got the first of several “she may not make it through the night’ calls. I remember leaving home immediately to be at her side. She was a fighter, my mom, and she wasn’t quite ready. At least that time. But she deteriorated fast and died on the 20th. That date is fast approaching. I try not to think about it but some invisible time clock inside me must know that. So I’ve been schmeeshy.
Bear’s camp has an online thing called BunkNotes. Since they’ve no mail there, you can bring mail to be delivered each day at dinner or send e-mails that they print out and give to the campers. I brought notes and cards so she’ll get one each day. The one that will be delivered at dinner today is a music card blaring the Hampster Dance. That should bring a smile to her face. Enclosed in the envelope is a new whoopi cushion that she can terrorize the counselors for the rest of the week. I’m sure she’ll put that to good use. Bear’s cabin mates will be glad that her mom thinks up such things ahead of time. They are allowed a care package on Wednesday. I decorated a big box for her and filled it with goodies to share. That should make up for the whoopi cushion debacle I’ll have created. (amongst others) Hopefully Bears fellow campers and the counselors won't egg me when I come on Saturday to pick her up.
Bunk notes posts photos taken of the campers doing daily activities. So I’ve seen Bear busy being a tie-dyed Ninja, whatever the heck that is. Between stalking the Weatherbug page and Bunk Notes, it makes me feel like I kindof know what’s going on down there with my Booest. Makes me a little less antsy. A little more connected. Slightly closer even though we both know it's miles and miles away.
The parent handbook suggests to hold off on the ‘Miss you terribly' messages so they don’t get the midweek 'I want to go home. I miss my mom' scenerios. They say that it’s usually the parents are child sick, not the kids being home sick. I get that. And I’m feeling it.
I am full fledged child sick.
So I’m having a pity party, or Pitt-y party, with both of my Gemini sides. I’m left here wanting to talk to my kid and my mom and unable to do either. Some might celebrate being kid free for a week, but I’ve no desire to go out. I’m going to see if I can last the week without dressing in anything but yoga pants and tees. I’ve a nightstand of books I’ve been wanting to read, but have been unable to find the time.
Now I have the time, but not the desire to delve in. Perhaps I should check to see if they’ve posted new photos instead? Bah. Turn off the computer to stop watching the camp from Google Earth and monitoring to see if BunkNotes has posted new pictures that might give me a glipse of the Booest. Oh, and shut off that weather app. As if knowing that it rained .26 inches and is 73% humidity with a heat index of 88 degrees with a south west wind of 5mph is going to help at all.
Camp Tippecanoe is Bears stepping stone into being independent of her mom.
Now, if I can learn to become independent of my Bear…