You Say “Summer Camp” I Say STFU


Today is Jane’s eighth day at Outward Bound. To answer your questions: no, I don’t know how she is doing. If I called it wouldn’t be a wilderness expedition and no, I’m not worried about bears/drowning/snakes/chupacabras.

About three times a day Alexander looks at me and says, “Jane would love this.” I smile and I say, “I miss her too.”

When I lay in bed at night and I can’t get the pillow quite right I get tense because my Jane is sleeping under a tarp that she had to carry on her backpack and in a sleeping bag with no pillow. I know she’s happy. Camping trips like this were the highlight of my youth so I’m well aware of how much fun she’s having.

I just miss her.

Alexander is mostly enjoying being the only child. He misses having another kid in the house, but this morning he asked me for pretzel M&Ms at 10am and I said yes. He asked me if I was sick. I told him that I was sick and we each had a bag of pretzel M&Ms for brunch. They were delicious and it was strange enough for Alexander that I think he’ll always remember the week his sister was gone and his mother gave him a little bag of poison in the morning.

We had lunch at a ramen house where you sit cross legged on the floor. Shoes are naturally removed and I was good about that but forgot my sunglasses after having put my shoes back on. I promptly stood up and walked across the cushions with my sandal feet while the waitstaff and my brother looked on horrified. Karma bit me in the ass and I walked outside and stepped in chewing gum.

Can we talk about chewing gum? If I was Queen of the World I’d ban two things, chewing gum and scented deodorant. There’s no reason you need to walk around chewing anything all day long. It’s perfectly acceptable to face the world without working your damn jaw. The snapping sound of the middle aged side mouth gum chewer is like nails on a chalkboard, but the hideousness of gaping mouth with bright blue or green gum being swirled around on a filthy tongue is simply unbearable. I’m past the point where I feel I have to be polite. I simply walk away.

As for scented deodorant, really? Can we just agree that whomever created Axe belongs in prison?


Jane Prefers her Wings


Jane was an early walker. She was toddling around my house by nine months, and on first birthday as I prepared food for guests she stood on my dining room table jumping for the chandelier. Jane is an athlete, but she’s not overly competitive, she just wants to play.

Jane was happy in motion, and her motion has always taken her away from me. I’ve stood proud, watching my daughter assert her independence. We’ve given her roots and wings, she prefers the wings.

This summer Jane is going on a ten day canoeing, rock climbing and camping trip with Outward Bound. I remember my own first camping trips and how I felt alive in ways I’d never expected. I remember the smells and the sounds, the heat of the sun and the chill of the water. I remember not caring about anything except what was right in front of me. I’m excited for Jane to have all of that. For four of the days she is gone Alexander, too, will be away at camp. His will be less of an adventure, but to be fair he’s only nine.

Their independence both delights and terrifies me.