Back to Life. Back to Reality.

Camp’s over, and I’m back to life.  Back to reality.

Sing it with me… Back to life.  Back to reality.

Those are the only words I know to that song, which make them super irritating when they run around and around inside my brain.

Back to life.  Back to reality.  Boom!

I don’t know why I say the boom at the end.  It’s like my mind needs a place holder so I can keep repeating those 2 lines over and over.

Back to life.  Back to reality.  Boom!

Back to life.  Back to reality.  Boom!

Back to life.  Back to reality.  Boom!

Sincere apologies if you’ve got it stuck in your head now, too.  And for the booms.

Usually, my life involves rushing around, doing one million things at once, juggling bottom-wiping, kool-aid cleaning, cookie-making, and STOP YELLING yelling… all while trying to suck down as much caffeine as my heart can stand.

Greg can testify that my last 48 hours – the post-camp hours – have involved sitting on my hind end in a puddle of uselessness and drooling while staring without any focus into outer space.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is why camps hire college-aged counselors.  ‘Cause they can take a middle-school camp licking and keep on ticking.  Whereas I take a middle-school camp licking and need to be plugged into the wall to recharge.

It’s not pretty.  It’s just true.

Here we are, mid-July, and our schedule is as crazy as always this time of year.  So crazy, in fact, that it’s hardly worth mentioning, because it’s like saying “the leaves are green” or “I’m tired” or “stop wiping boogers on me.”  Obvious.  Par for the course.  Normal.

July, in case you hadn’t already noticed, is Camp Month.

At Girls Camp, Aden was a grand success.  Hooray!

At Tween Camp, I only embarrassed Abby 3 times.  Yay, me!  That’s got to be my personal record.  It’s practically a miracle.

And this week it’s Ian’s turn at Boys Camp.  Which makes me think almost exclusively about personal hygiene.

Aden spent a week at camp and showered once.  I’m pretty sure the once was because her counselor made her.  Since sometimes Aden smells like butt, I think her counselor is a rock star for showing so much shower flexibility.  Aden came home with 1/2 dirty clothes and 1/2 clean clothes.  That was not due to overpacking on our part.  Oh, no.  That was due to underchanging on hers.  And it’s yet another reason why college students are Way Better at camp counseling than I am… and one of a gazillion reasons why kids relish the freedom that is a week away from Mom.

Last year, I’m uncertain whether Ian showered at all at camp.  In fact, Ian returned from Boys Camp with 6 out of 8 pairs of undies clean and most of his clothes still folded and in pristine condition.  As for those 2, poor, used pairs of undies… well, let’s just say that they lovingly and selflessly gave their life for camp, and we laid them to rest with respect, honor, and a 21-gun salute into the garbage can.  The outside garbage can where I was less likely to smell them.

Yesterday, Greg packed Ian for camp.  I was still in Useless Puddle mode, and Greg wisely decided to save his wife’s energy for other things later.  (Greg’s a smart, smart man.)  But I got to field Greg’s important packing questions.  Questions like, “Should I pack the amount of shampoo I want Ian to use, or the amount he’ll actually use?”  Ah – the age-old question!  Do I believe the best or accept reality?

Well, around these parts, we’re all about perspective.  While we strive to make things better and to give our kids new skills all the time, we also believe that living into reality makes things kick-in-the-dirty-undies funny.  So, although we packed Ian a full bottle of shampoo, we expect it to come back to reality… still full.

Ian will return from camp on Friday.  I think it will take us that long to finish installing the special, outdoor HazMat shower and to plan appropriate memorial services for the undies we deployed on this mission.

I love camp.  But I also love life.  I love reality.  And I love my stinky, sweaty, crusty kids.

Boom!

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
7 comments
  1. […] when Ian went to camp?  And I spent the week planning the memorial service for the only two pairs of undies he would […]

  2. Last week, during my second week at camp, I had another counselor ask me on the bus trip back from the beach, “Can I ask you a personal question?”
    I was unsure if I should say yes as there were many campers around but I did anyway. He then said, “How old are you?” With relief that this was a not so personal question, I replied, “29!”
    With joy and excitement he then exclaimed, “You mean I can still counsel at camp when I am 29? That gives me hope!”
    I am glad that even in my old age I can give hope to America’s youth. (P.S. I was the oldest counselor by about 6 years!)

    1. WOW! Even at YOUR advanced age, living an active life is still possible. Thanks for bringing hope to the masses! 🙂

      Hehehe.

  3. This is totally of this post’s topic, but I MUST SHARE. I would like to buy you a cup of nectarofthelowercase-g-gods (coffee), to say thank you!! I used the night time potty training method that you suggested (with the towels) and that was pure genius. Genius, I tell you! I have also shared it (sorry if you had it copyrighted ;D) to several other thankful moms. Thank you for sharing your humor and your super practical amazing potty training ideas.

    1. AW! Amy – this is the NICEST message!

      Just so you know… if you only put the towels under the potty training kid and, um, don’t put them under his twin brother… well, you may end up with the “dry” twin doing a little sympathy-wetting. The towels only work if they’re under the kid who wets the bed. Learned that the hard way. 🙂

  4. This is why you hear the booms (and why you’re drooling: cause you need your Benson): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGkZXYrAAys.

    At Grad Camp, which I “facilitate”, the campers go to bed later. Like 1am later. With the same camp director wake-up time for me (aka it’s a week of naps). I’ve done this for two years: one at 8-months pregnant, and one with all the kids (two stashed in IKEA tents in the Captain’s Cabin living room to simulate their own rooms, and one stashed in the pack’n’play in the bedroom closet), and we’re heading back in a few weeks, baby!

    I tend to cackle slightly crazilyy when I tell other adults about this: can you hear me now? …

    Please send a care package … for the love of my mother … who(m?) we both know loves you more than me … 😉

    1. Oh my gosh… that link is hilarious! Will Smith is a genius. Mostly to have turned his career from Fresh Prince days to present.

      And YOU rock grad camp! What shall go in this care package? I don’t think they let me send sleep or sanity through the mail… pretty sure both are explosive materials.

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