Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a little Pitt-y party...

I’m beside myself.

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.

As I looked at my phone I saw that not only was a storm approaching Lakewood, but that there was a storm front moving swiftly in on the Little Town of Tippecanoe as well. I wonder if she'll remember where I put her poncho? I left it in the duffle bag. I thought that perhaps by leaving it packed away I was creating a positive mojo to keep it from raining during her week at camp. Doesn’t look like that plan worked. But perhaps the rain will bring down the temperatures.

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…


  1. That sounds familiar...didn't think my mom missed me that much though.

    I'm really sorry you miss you mom and Boo-Don't worry, Boo will be back soon. :)

    Best wishes.

  2. I have no actual children, I have no mother. And I actually do have my own bed. :-) I hope you get your equilibrium back soon.

  3. Love sure can be hard on the heart but it is so good for the soul. They are missed because they are loved. Beautiful story. Hope you get to see your baby soon.

  4. Hey Nancy, tough times. Boo will be home soon, and all the more pleased to see you after a week; she's missed you too. Indigo x

  5. My Mom has been gone WAY too many years... and I still miss her so... My Dad has been gone half as long as Mom has... I don't mean to make this sound like an algebra word problem however...

    The longer they are gone, the further away from me they get.

    My kids? I love them... you sound like a great Mom... I am sure you are!


  6. How great that you send Boo to adventure camp, though I so relate to your separation sadness. Two of my hardest: 1. walking away, leaving her at the college dorm and 2. putting her on a flight to London for a semester abroad. I was a wreck both times; she was fine. Darn...those baby birds just don't want to stay in the nest!

  7. I know exactly how you feel-{hug}- The ex and I would plan a fantabulous night out and realize that we both wanted the kids to come and share it with us! when both the kids were gone for the day, I should have sighed with relief, but the house was too quiet... empty nest is gonna really stink.

  8. At least Boo will be home this weekend. She's having fun! You should take advantage of the "me" time - go to museums, the show, etc! The weekend will be here before you know it!

    Just wait till she goes off to college! I cried for weeks when my daughter left!

  9. The first year anniversary of my mom's death had me doing just what you're doing...grieving all over again, for weeks in advance. And Boo being away just complicates it. But what a great experience she's having. Have patience, do what you can, be kind to yourself.

  10. With that cute little smile on her face its no wonder you miss her...

    ...and I'm sure she is having an adventure, rain or shine, and will always remember this week in camp - much like you do...

    ...and I suspect 20-30-40 years from now... she will lie on her own "baby's" bed and wonder how her child is doing away from home... ...and think about you and all the love you showered on her.

  11. Please make your font larger.

  12. Oh man do I ever feel your pain. Been there so many times in life. My kids are grown up now and I still text them sometimes and say...I miss you. Then they pop over and cheer me up. LOL

    Boo will be back so soon, no worries.

  13. Letting go is hard. I think the kids are always ready for it before we are. The good news? They're never totally gone - just not quite so "here".

  14. I've found that the lonelier you are the more you strive for those you love most, often it is the letting them go and giving them the opportunity to return in their own way that is the best. You Mum will never leave you.. she has been with you throughout this week, letting you know your feelings were her feelings all those years ago and look at where you got to! Have a hug to get you through and know that it will be such a special reunion.

  15. I wanted to say something profound but all I can think of is WOW. What a great relationship your cast of characters have. I'm pulling for both of you.

  16. Love is a boomerang. It always comes back. She'll be home soon with lots of stories to share. Just like you did with your Mum.

  17. Awe, I'm sorry you are missing Boo. You are such a good mommy...she is going to love that care package, and you're going to have at least ten other little girls that want to go home with you, and they will go home and tell their mom what an awesome mom Boo has! I hope you and Boo have a wonderful welcome home celebration. And isn't technology wonderful that you can semi-stalk Boo from afar?! As a parent I wouldn't call it stalking and neither would she yet, but it's a teenager thing! Anytime my sister goes online to find out anything about her daughter, she calls her a stalker, gotta love her! Boo's camp sounds almost as remote as where I am going next week on vacation (a fairly secluded island (not tropical but more of a fishing and historical place that they still speak Elizabethan English!), and I can't wait to get away. Hope these next few days go by quickly for you, Nancy!

  18. Just think of the great experience she's having! As your doctor, I must insist you enjoy your week free of parental responsibility.

  19. I'm struggling with the fact that my baby boy will be 18 on Friday and then off to College in September. I can't picture my life without him at home everyday or the "I love you's" he provides before bed or in the morning before I leave for work. I'm going to be a mess, so I know how you are feeling...

  20. Nancy, I'm so sorry you're missing her. It would be shocking if you did not. All her happy camp stories will certainly make up for it when she's home again, all safe. Take care!

  21. This is so touching, Nancy. I'm sorry you're missing Boo so badly and I hope you'll manage to find some sort of distraction to carry you through until she's back!(Manual work helps most from my experience.)

    Take care, Momma Bear! :o)

  22. Missing your kids is so hard. Been there. I have not yet had to miss my mom, but I know it's coming some day and I am not sure there's any way to prepare for it. It's gotta hurt like crazy. But I guess you can look at it as how lucky you are that you have such strong attachments to them both. You are blessed to have that much love. Now, turn off that weather app; Boo will be fine! Camp is supposed to be a little rough -- as your own memories attest, that is the fun of it!
    ps i'm camping my way up the Appalachians in a few weeks to Ohio and I can't wait to visit some of your state's gorgeous parks!

  23. What a sweet mom you are missing your little girl. When ever it is around the time that my parents died, I always feel depressed and then it hits me why.

  24. a profound anniversary regarding your beloved mom and your daughter away happening in the same week it's understandable as to why your particular party is taking place. perhaps the second half of the week is flying by faster and you found a book or two on that pile to offer the needed distraction.

    take care. hugs

  25. Hey Nance,
    Someone once told me that your kids are the only acceptable, healthy obsession there is in life. I know what that means. I am completely obsessed with my baby girl.

  26. You seem to be doing better than a lot of parents that I know. Having the kids away is always rough. She'll be back before you know it. :)


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