29 August, 2008

Camp Mom

6:00 on this rainy morning, the Diva was wide awake.  She is nervous and excited as today, in her mind, she officially starts 3rd grade.  It is today that the class lists will be posted.  Today that she will meet her teachers.  Today that she will venture upstairs with the knowledge that she is no longer a little kid confined to the lower level of the school.  Summer vacation is packing its bags and the school year is preparing to arrive. 
How far we have come from just a few months ago when  summer was anticipated, tears were shed, and play dates were promised. 
"My friends aren't going to camp.  Why do I have to?”  My daughter knew the answer to this question; she knew that I have to work.  She also knew that her friends were not staying home spending their days with parent and siblings.  She knew that they were going to day camps too, just like her.  Yet, these were the statements she made as summer vacation neared.
But many camps close in mid August.  Many parents, such as myself, didn't realize this until it was too late to get our children enrolled
in the few camps that are open.  Some of us resorted to hiring a summer nanny while others of us, like me, chose to try to work from home or
use time off etc for those two weeks.
Thus, my daughter got lucky.  For the last two weeks of her summer vacation, she got to see how some kids spend their summer - the kids
that don't go to camp that is.  She has spent the past two weeks at "Camp Mom!"  (And I have spent two weeks at camp "entertain
me!" - send care packages!!)
Camp Mom is unlike any camp I ever attended or for which I was employed.  (Yes, I did the summer camp counselor bit in college and actually loved it).  We didn’t sing songs, at these songs that don’t appear in the mamma Mia musical.  There were no camp fires, lanyards, or complaints about the food.  There were, however, friends, and swimming, and movies with popcorn, and lots of laughter.   
It has been a fun filled two week period, let me just tell you!
I wake extremely early in the morning to shower and dash to work to try and take care of the little "only at work" details to the extent possible.  I place calls, write e-mail, put out forest fires, plan emergency response activities, all before she calls at 7:? to tell me that she is awake and ask when I will be home.  At this time I become aware that my productivity is pretty much, over.
After a few more calls from home, I leave work, hit the bakery, and arrive at home before the clock hits 9:30!  From that point on, the
day is about being mom, swimming, answering questions, listening to stories, observing the slow destruction of my house, enduring endless
interruptions, and loving life... seriously, it has been great fun outside the interruptions part!  (Did I say, Send Care Packages?)
Why is it that my child, despite how polite she is usually and how rude she understands interrupting to be, insists that it doesn't matter what I am doing or with whom I am doing it, her "issue" is of the greater importance??
It wasn’t the kind of summer vacation I used to enjoy.  With a teacher for a mom, my summer vacations were spent at home.  Summer vacation was all about bike riding, fort building, running through sprinklers (my small mountain town didn’t have too many pools) and exploring the woods.  We were footloose and fancy free, never realizing just how good we had it. 
We loved our free summers, but by the time class lists were posted, we were more than ready to return to school.  Just like the child I was, after spending the past two weeks at “Camp Mom” the Diva is ready to return to school. 
To celebrate the nearing of the end of "Camp Mom", the Diva and I hit the mall.  The intent, to catch a movie and to find new shoes, the result... ah well, a lot of laughter, smiles, and several bags filled!
Yes, it has been quite a summer.  Traveling, the beach, baseball, road trips, the beach, ballet camp, day camp, singing in a musical, the beach, farmer's markets, rock climbing, delicious meals, lots of singing and laughter, new bikes, the beach, and finally "Camp Mom."  It has been a summer like no other she has known.  It is a summer that she can happily write about next week should she get the "What did you do on your summer vacation " question. 


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great two weeks! Maybe the reason she feels her "issue" is of greater need than whatever else is happening is because she knows for two whole weeks she has you to herself...and wants to take advantage of each moment of that?

T said...

Hooray!! Can we come next summer? ;)

KennethSF said...

That sounds like an incredible mother-daughter bonding time. Ah, I wonder if Diva would blog about this from memory when she's old enough to launch her own blog.

The Exception said...

Ruby - That is probably exactly it. It has been a fun two weeks!

T- The more the merrier, as long as I am not in charge of entertainment!

Kenneth - She is definitely ready. She is trying to figure out when she will be old enough to Twitter!

Have the T-Shirt said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to end the summer.

You made wonderful memories together :)

Single Mom Seeking said...

Love this!
We just had our last day of "Camp Mom," too! I "traded" with another single mom -- our girls are very good friends -- and we spent the final day at the Boardwalk, moms and daughters. Fun!

Here's to 3rd grade... you know we're headed there, too. On Tuesday!