Sunday, June 28, 2009

Making it right

This is seriously what I think of when my mind wanders back to summer camp. Canoe races, lots of wooden buildings, bunks with foot lockers, dirt trails leading into secretive places, lakes with gleep. Camp Chingachgook (Gin-ga-cook) has all these (and more!). There are things going on there that are just awesome, and the kids come back year after year because they are so much fun. So why did I cry for half the journey home? I couldn't even say goodbye to her counselor, I was blubbering so hard. Well, I admit that I wish it were me, getting ready to swim 220yds, to prove my worth in front of my unknown peers, all of us shivering on the waterfront. I wish it were me, sleeping in my sleeping bag for the first time this summer, on a bunk with a new sheet (green and blue polka dots), a good book, and a weeny little book light. I wish it were me getting up at reveille, passing on polar bear swim, looking at that boy in canoeing. I do. I don't regret any of the years that have passed since I last graced summer camp, but I miss it. I miss being taken care of, being paid for, being part of a cabin, part of a unit that I wasn't responsible for. It's hard being a mom all the time. It's my job to constantly make things right. It's not always fun, or even entertaining, though occasionally it is some of each. But sometimes it's just driving back to the store to return a broken item, or clothing purchased one size too small. Occasionally it means leaving my nice spacious bed with my snuggly warm husband and sleeping in with the stuffed animals and random baby blankets that both my kids love to sleep with, and keeping half awake so I don't fall off the edge of the bed. Sometimes it's just drive - to this friend's house, to school for a forgotten book, to camp. To replace lost items. It's a labor of love from the first moment until you realize that it isn't happening anymore...not very often, anyway.

So I cried my way home from camp, letting Jerry drive, knowing there is no way to make this right. Letting them grow and fly - it's already right, it just hurts. I'd like to compare it to some kind of painful dentistry, or perhaps an appendectomy, but really there's nothing wrong, just hurting. She's in a beautiful place in the world, between childhood and teenhood, on a gorgeous lake, in a wonderful mountainous State Park. It really doesn't get much better. I guess it's already alright.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Old and new, again

Interesting thing, this facebook revolution. One old timer is going onto World Poker Tournament, some are having babies, families, life changing incidences that we sweep through in two words, rocking their universe, leaving grown men and women shaken and sweaty. A few die, already. Some I feel green meanies growing in my gut, they are living lives I envy and have achieved things I dream about. Others, well, not so much. I look at my little people, sleeping, windows open, and wonder where I'd be without them...Botswana, drinking red bush tea? India, eating curries and picking fruit from the trees in my yard? Lonely? Impressed with all I have achieved, or dismayed at all that I haven't. It's a fun way to kill a few quiet minutes...there are so few, why not really enjoy them!

In reconnecting to people from the past, I have come to appreciate so much more all that I have here, now. My friends, without whom I have no idea how I'd make it through each week. My husband, who has stuck by me think and thin, who was there for the birth of our children, next to me, touching me, connected. To my children, who have learned how to annoy me like no other beings on the planet, and who bring out such joy, pleasure in the moment, and searingly deep love. In an instant it can, it will, all be gone. But for this moment, I have depth of appreciation.

An old car, junk or parts or a home for rats, or sold, rebuilt, repainted, dents removed and retamed, it can sit idle after having driven dutifully for an eon of miles. Loved or not, it becomes part of a landscape of history, same as a dirty diaper or an empty soup can. It doesn't much matter how useful it was (diapers, nothing more useful to the mother of a baby!), or even how much it as loved (my old dolphin necklace is somewhere out there). It is a member of the heap. It is part of a historical clan and, memories not withstanding, it is part of the future, not the past or present. I found out on Facebook that a friend of mine's old car has finally bit the dust, a car I traveled in cross country, up and down the coasts, camping in Yosemite, and across the Mexico border for cases of Tequila.

Luka Benjamin was born the other day, a new old soul. He's part of this heap of today, though he is all about tomorrow - in a tomorrow he will be five, swinging the bat, begging for new cleats. In a tomorrow he will be 16, singing on the rooftop and emulating Kenneth Grahame's Frog. In a heartbeat of tomorrows he will find love, dance between trees, find cures or write interesting things or make beautiful sculpture. Right now he wakes long enough to find a nipple and fart. I found out he was born checking into Facebook.

And so it goes. Game scores, births, deaths. They're all on facebook, where old is new and new is old and it's just plain living to check in and say I'm still here, too.