The Gift of Presence

I boarded the Amtrak Surfliner just before 9am to arrive in San Diego just after noon. From the train I could have taken a taxi but to save $40 or so on cab fare I hopped onto a bus that took me most of the way to the camp where Jane had spent the prior two weeks. Rather than taking a second bus and then walking a mile I tried my luck with a taxi and found myself chatting with an African man who spoke like he was singing and …

One Out of Two Kids is Home From Camp and How Much do You Tip a Counselor?

If we’re friends on Facebook you might have seen my status updates. Alexander was gone for a week and Jane is still surfing her summer away and will be home soon. It’s easy having her gone because she’s older and she’s been leaving us longer than he has. Having Alexander gone was like missing a limb, having Jane gone is akin to missing birdsong, you have to be quiet to notice it’s absence. Mr. G and I went to the Ports of Call to get Alexander from the boat that …

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 …

Summer Camp Day Three

I’m waiting for Jane to wake up, in fact I may wake her shortly, and we need to pack her for Outward Bound.  She leaves tomorrow and I think I might just roll over and die. It’s like someone is sitting on my chest as I click to do the web check in for her flight. Her flight. Alone, without us. Without even her brother. I’m much more worried about her flight than I am about the canoeing or the rock climbing. Maybe I’m worried about the wrong things, and …

Wandering Around the House Bumping into Ghosts

Yesterday we dropped Alexander off at camp. I’ve dropped him off at camp every morning this summer, but yesterday I dropped him off at sleep away camp. Two weeks ago when my friends asked me how I felt about it I snickered and said, “He’ll have the time of his life.” A week ago I gave the same response. Three days ago at ten o’clock at night I asked my husband if we weren’t making the worst mistake of our lives. Dropping him off was uneventful, we filled out forms, …