It’s Summer and the Living’s Easy?

This was written, with the intent of posting it, last night.  Alas, that did not happen.  I am confident that you will understand the use of “today” actually means “yesterday”.  Not that is matters.  Just sayin’.

Here’s the thing about having a blog: people expect you to have something to say and to do so articulately and with some regularity.  Sometimes my ability to do so comes easily, particularly when the incidents and accidents are coming fast and furious at every turn.  Other times, when things seem to be somewhat normal (dare I even use that word?) this blogger finds herself not only at a loss for words, but actually appreciating the fact that there is not a lot to say.

Now, to be perfectly clear, I suspect that will all change as the transition from school to camp goes beyond today, the first day.  I am waiting, with (more than) somewhat bated breath, to see how things unfold in the coming week as camp becomes a routine as opposed to a novelty.  Images and agonies of last summer continue to swirl about in my head, but, until this moment, I have staunchly refused to acknowledge that fact.  My hopes are high for the next five weeks of camp.  I will go so far as to say that I have a gut feeling that it is all going to be okay, but uttering that aloud is far too arrogant quite yet.

You may recall that last summer was an epic and repeated fail.  It undid me.  It undid Jess.  It provided plenty to discuss in therapy until such time as I deemed it no longer worth the energy it took to do so.  The plan was to archive it as deep in the recesses of my brain as was possible, never to revisit ever again.  Until, that is, this week.

It would be dishonest to say that I had successfully tucked it away.  I have thought about it on (more than) several occasions and prayed to St. Somebody or Other (said the Jewish girl) that this year, with the benefit of another year under our collective belts, we would kick summer’s butt.  I went so far as to not even acknowledge that Friday was the last day of school (for Jess, that is…the rest of the kids, the ones who transition without issue that is (do you happen to know any of those kids, because I certainly do not) remain for the last five mandated days in school, sweltering from the heat and filling the day with anything that is not academic and kills six hours) and that today was the first day of camp.  (Full disclosure: transition issues aside, there was no way on G-d’s green earth that I was going to forfeit the first week of camp given the price tag. The fact that transitions are important was merely a bonus.)  If nothing else, I have learned to tone down my pre-worrying and let things happen ever so slightly more organically.  In this case, that played out as denial.  It works for me.  Don’t judge.

When she left for camp in the morning she was in great spirits.  That did not surprise me.  In fact, it would have thrown me if she had exhibited any anxiety.  That is simply not her style. What I worried about, for a fair portion of the day, was what arrival home would look like.  And here is what I got:

The scene: Jess walks in the door (having been drive home by a friend) with her head drooping down.  Having chosen swimming as her last activity of the day (thus requiring no changing out of a wet suit) her hair was still wet and is long enough to be hanging in her face.  I held my breath.

Me: “So…how was it???”

Jess: “Awful.”

Me: (Holding back the vomit that was rising in my throat), “Um, whaddya mean?  What happened?”

Jess: “Everyone was mean and I hated the classes.”

Me: (Reaching for the nearest receptacle into which I would deposit aforementioned vomit), “Seriously?”

Jess: (Bursting into a huge smile),”IT WAS AWESOME!”

Me: (Thinking of how to kill her and leave the fewest signs of force).  “You stinker.”

And then a shared smile.

Yeah, yeah, I know: it is only the first day.  But (and this is a big one): it is the best first day of anything, ever.

Tune back in for updates.  I hope (and by hope I mean pray like hell) that they will continue to be positive but I make no promises. I almost hope she gives me nothing to write about…

11 thoughts on “It’s Summer and the Living’s Easy?

  1. Jules! You scared ME for a second…stinker! I am SO happy for you!!!!!!!! My middle kid just went to a school for guys who are anxious enough not to feel motivated in school…he sort of “checked out” and this brilliant (certifiably, way more than Mensa, low bar: ~132 iq, qualified) kid is thriving instead of feeling like a misfit and an anomaly, both of which, by definition, he is, and I LOVE the school, such a huge relief. Just anxious kids, no violent or addicted kids, and it sounded like it MIGHT help…but you know how that goes. We really lucked out and the relief I feel is GUTTERAL. (Can gutteral mean anything other than a way to describe a noise?) Still, I know YOU know just what I mean and to see Jess come home with a big smile on her face must have been priceless. I bet you felt like you had the rug pulled out from under you…in a GOOD way!

  2. Oh yay!! I am so happy it was a good beginning!! Hoping for a great 5 weeks with lots of laughs and fond memories to be made. xo

    • Love reading your blog, Julie, and I know I’m not alone. But honestly, I’m certain that everyone will agree with me that it would be great if you had nothing to say! Thanks for putting a huge smile on my face today. I was holding my breath while I read, but I suspected all along that Jessie was playing you! 🙂

  3. Oh my. I wouldn’t have been able to stop at ‘stinker’, if I’d been in your shoes I wouldn’t have shut up for at least five minutes out of sheer relief, while still entertaining thoughts of, not sure exactly what… She really had you there. And me.
    So glad that the first day went great. Let’s see how the other days go but an awesome start is not to be sneezed at.
    Good luck!

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