Sunday, July 5, 2009

summertime things

homegrown white scallop squash with purchased cauliflower, vidalia onion, and garlic ~ sauteed in olive oil with oregano, cumin, black and cayenne pepper, and salt ~ served over whole wheat spaghetti with a carafe of mint tea ~ colorful, no ~ flavorful, yes


Not long after Leah was born, I went to Chicago on business, hauling my dual chamber electric breast pump through the airport only weeks after 9/11, awkwardly explaining that it was not an explosive device, then plopping down on the floor in the entrance to the ladies room to use the only outlet I could find.

Later, when she was older and no longer nursing, I went to London for a week on business. I remember trying to explain to my colleagues that I felt a biological drive to be with my child. Childless themselves, they seemed interested for a couple of polite minutes, and then started some other conversation as I nursed my Stella and decided that the next night I would stay in and order room service.

Today, we took Leah to her first resident camp, a Girl Scout campground on Lake Guntersville. I LOVED camp when I was a kid, and I have been looking forward to introducing Leah to the joys of summer camping -- archery, boating, riding, etc. And like any parent who rarely gets a babysitter, I have been looking forward to having time -- time to spend with Neal, time to relax to the degree afforded by having only one kid in the house instead of two. But now that we're home and she's not, it feels exactly as it did when she was so much younger, and I was working full-time and traveling quite a bit, looking around bitterly at all of the stay-at-home moms, wondering how in hell so many of them were able to swing it, and when in hell people were going to get pissed off enough about healthcare options (or lack thereof) to start a revolution. Well, the missingness feels the same. The political stuff doesn't, because this is an entirely different context -- a context of choice. Guess I just kinda ranted there for a second.

But in any context, I wonder if the missingness ever gets any smaller?


Julia said...

I think the second time she goes off to camp is easier because you know what to expect and have an idea about how she'll react to it.

Looking forward to hearing how she likes it!

mountainmelody said...

I'm sorry! But I'm glad you sent her. Camp is so worthwhile for kids! I worked at a camp for five summers, and directed another camp a sixth summer. She'll make so many new friends, develop new skills, and have an amazing time! Yay for camp! :)

Allison said...

I loved camp and I know Leah will enjoy all the neat stuff they'll do there.

Regarding the missingness, while the youngsters are still young, there's a definite vacuum that's created when we're separated. I can only guess that the discomfort of it lessens as they get older, but when they're still kids it's definitely a strange feeling to have them away from us.

countrypeapie said...

Hey J ~ I think you're right, and I imagine she's having a great time. In some ways, I think it's nice the way they do it over there, starting them so young and basing it around their classmates. I hope Leah has as much fun as C did!

Thanks MM ~ I remember my camping days so fondly, and I hope Leah will, too! I bet you made a great camp director.

Hey Allison ~ Yes, I can only hope that it gets easier as the kids get older; otherwise, I'm gonna be a wreck if she ever goes off to college!

AuntJill said...

I don't know anything about camp, but I do love the outdoors, but I do know about missingness.... and I think it gets bigger as you get older simply because you have experienced more stuff... when you know more, and have loved more, I think you miss people more - but I think you are doubly blessed because you appreciate them them that much more when you are back in their presence.

countrypeapie said...

Hi Jill ~ Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Now I just need to capture that feeling so that I can remember it when my kids are driving me crazy.... :)