According to social media, about a third of my Facebook friends will be seeing their kids this weekend for Camp Visiting Day. According to social media, about a third of my Facebook friends have kids who are either still too young or who are now too old to be seeing their kids this weekend for Camp Visiting Day. And according to social media, the remaining third of my Facebook friends already saw their kids last weekend for Camp Visiting Day.
I fall into the last category. I saw my boys a week ago and over the past several days I’ve had postpartum retrospection. Allow me to explain:
Postpartum Rehash Session
When we arrived at camp the morning of Visiting Day, you kinda had to mull around the Welcome Tent before heading off to find the kids. This is the time of day I like to refer to as the Postpartum Rehash Session. You run into familiar parental faces that you haven’t seen since the summer prior and get to catch up for a bit. I shot the shit with a few friends I went to college with, made small talk about the blog, business, birthdays and any other random bullshit we could squeeze in before beginning our day.
The Visiting Day schtick is a well oiled machine. Line up by alphabetical order. Pick up a photograph of your kid(s). Get a map of the camp grounds. Look up at what activity and on which field your munchkin(s) will be located. Wait for the clock to strike 9:30am. And GO.
The Running of the Jews was so Summer of 2013. It’s now 2015. I run on a treadmill. In sneakers. I don’t run like a raving lunatic in wedges carrying big cellophane packages for anyone! On the drive to camp, I made a quick stop at the local CVS Pharmacy, grabbed a box of Oreos and an NFL Draft magazine and happily pocketed the change from the twenty dollar bill I gave the clerk. Upon making our way to find the boys, this unpolished Jew was not running. Instead of The Running of the Jews, I’d say it was more like The Casual Walking Of Those Who Schmooze.” Okay at best, maybe it was more like a brisk walk, but still. You get my point.
You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression so of course there’s always a little anxiety over how you will be greeted by your kiddos. Will they will be happy to see me? Will their emotions take over and will they start to cry? Will I start to cry? Will they be embarrassed if I want to molest them with hugs and kisses in front of their friends? Wait! Do they even have friends? Will they shoo me away because it’s the bottom of the inning and they need to keep their eye on the ball and concentrate? A picture says a thousand words. My little guy caught a glimpse of his Daddy and the waterworks began for both of them!
You never know what kind of weather Visiting Day will bring. Regardless of the forecast, over a seven hour period I went from being chilly and having a relatively good hair day due to the very low humidity to being damp to drenched to downright disgusting. I guess Mother Nature must get a little schizophrenic knowing she’s got over six hundred different parents to please so she’s gotta throw out a wide range of temperatures for the day. By the time the pouring rain stopped and the sun came out and dried up all the fields so I could watch the boys shoot hoops, climb the rock wall and take a stab at the football challenge, to say it was oppressively hot would be an unpolished understatement!
Moving around all day long from one end of the campus to the other end is no easy task. You know those songs where the guy or gal would climb a mountain or swim the ocean or walk a thousand miles for a loved one? Well, I gotta tell you I began to feel a little sub par about what I’d do for my own kids. Maybe I’m not in as good shape as I thought. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe I’m just getting old. By 1:30pm I was officially wiped out from schlepping up and down and back and forth and inside and outside. I nearly jumped for joy (and then pulled my calf muscle) after hailing a golf cart to drive us from lower camp to the zip line.
Is it time to eat lunch and refuel? Mom needs a snack. When’s rest hour? Who wants to hang out in the bunk and chill? I’m not ashamed to admit I needed some time to decompress. I was more than happy to snuggle with my kids on their mildewy, filthy, smelly beds if it meant downtime with my boys and no physical movement. Pass me an Oreo and let’s play Gin!
Speaking of downtime with my boys, one of the magical things about sleep-away camp is being exposed to an environment where campers learn to grow not just physically but emotionally as well. The essence of camp teaches kids the morals, values and life skills which naturally turns them into little mensches. Sure, the activities are phenomenal and their athleticism is being fine tuned, but to notice a positive difference in who they are from the inside out is priceless. Oh don’t worry, I fully intend to continue my bitching about the actual financial impact of camp when next year’s bill comes rolling in, but for the moment I’m basking in why it’s worth every penny!
Don’t misunderstand…. Even though camp is planting the seeds for boys who become men, my rug rats are still unpolished. No camp under the sun is gonna take away their natural born unpolishedness! The Unpolished Brothers managed to curse, push and bicker plenty throughout the day. I had to
scream bloody murder calmly use my parenting voice to explain the permanent side effects of brain injuries when my son swung a golf club and practically clocked his brother in the head! At one point I lost count how many times my younger kid ran back to the Milk Pagoda for an ice cream sandwich and my older kid looked awesome, if you define awesome by Fifty Shades of Yellow Teeth.
Me: “Have you been brushing your teeth?”
There were a few a things I wanted to address with the Powers That Be before the end of the day. I didn’t need an hour, I just needed a few, quick minutes with the peeps in charge. It appeared as though
all some of the other parents wanted face time too with the head honchos. I felt like I was waiting to shake hands with the President. At one point I needed to go to the bathroom so badly, but I didn’t want to lose my place on line! Hmm, when it’s my turn do I curtsy for the Queen? Do I bow to His Royal Majesty? I’m kidding. Sort of. But not really. No, I didn’t curtsy. I didn’t bow. The President of the United States doesn’t own the camp. I am convinced however, they must hate Visiting Day. I know I would hate it if every kids’ know-it-all parent in the camp showed up on the same day wanting a minute or two of their attention. I would kill myself if I had to talk to that many people. Literally.
Overall, the day was great. By 4pm, I was an exhausted, hot, sweaty, unpolished mess but I loved seeing my big baby boys. I was proud to be their Mom as they introduced me to their many fantastic counselors and showed me all the stuff they’ve been doing so far this summer. We tried to stick to our pre-planned exit strategy so that the final moments would be as drama free as possible. Sure there were a few tears; nobody likes goodbyes. We hugged it out about seven hundred times and I smothered both of them with just enough kisses so that it became unpolishedly annoying, which was all part of the plan! If I was annoying, it would distract them from being sad to see me go! A brilliant and an unpolished idea. I think it worked!
Just To Let You Know…. Now that Visiting Day is behind us, I’m waiting for the Postpartum Depression to kick in as I realize my Summer of Silver is more than halfway over! Camp cheers to enjoying what’s left of it!