Tuesday, August 31, 2010

THIS IS A REPEAT AFTER ME SONG!...and other ditties.

Once again, I've been hijacked by life. For a good two weeks.

I showed up to a former place of employment a few weeks ago, just to drop by and say hi to the two best bosses I've ever had. They asked me if I would be available to work for a few weeks? What else could I possibly say, but yes?

This "place of employment" is a Summer day-camp in the canyons of Irvine. It's the most simultaneously fun and exhausting places I've ever worked, not to mention the most rewarding. I was a Drama Specialist there for three years (which means I created and/or taught theatre games for children ranging in age from 4-13) ... and suddenly, for two weeks, they made me a counselor. WHAT??

The great thing about being a specialist (as I took for granted so many years ago), is that one gets to stay in one place, and sees all manner of children every day - diversity, if you will. And each class only lasts for about 40 minutes (30, if the group is coming from the other side of camp). I never got the opportunity to hate any children, because I didn't have time. And if I made drama fun enough, they'd all participate and be great for me. I could love them all, and not know that they were crazy cracked-out children who wouldn't leave the porta-potties alone, and ran around trying to lift all manner of things, from children to counselors.

Yeah ... I totally had that kid two weeks ago.

Now, my best friend Tracy wrote a blog post about birth control on her blog last week. And while her story has the gross factor, I'll say that my method has the longevity factor:

If you ever think about having children, but aren't sure ... go work at a summer camp.

I'm serious. You'll have every walking age. You'll see their development, their trials, the challenges involved with each age group. Because here's the thing ... raising a child NEVER STOPS. And as soon as they can walk, there's NO easy age. But if you can deal with them every day, their little quirks, their complaints, hiking with them in 100 degree weather, celebrate their little victories (you'll know when they happen), and be there to draw the hard line when they fail (which happens all the time, and is crazy hard!), then you can be a parent.

The other thing I'll say about camp is that it's family. You can leave for 5 years, come back, and be welcomed just as warmly as you were the day you were hired. You know ... provided no children died because of your care (or lack thereof), or you said something ridiculously inappropriate to a camper, or you let the kid light his own farts. Although, things go wrong all the time. Usually at the end of the day, the epitaph is: "Well at least no children died!" True story.

Anyway, it was an awesome two weeks, which included everything from trying to get caught up on the new camp fads (songs, dances, silly bandz, etc.), to me having to ice down my lower body at the end of the night, and suddenly realizing that I'm not 20 anymore. Because after my 10 hour camp day, I'd have to go to rehearsal ... and play Lear's Fool until 11:00 p.m. And then get back up and do it all again the next day. Oi! Needless to say, that's much of the reason I've been missing in action. Now it's on to finishing tech week, and opening the show! YIKES!

Here's a by-the-numbers look at camp:

Total number of campers: 30
Times that I had to eat gummy worms in tapioca pudding as fast as I could for a contest: 1
Times splashed with a water balloon: 2
Hours spent at Wild Rivers: 24
Sunburns acquired: 3
Approximate number of acres walked: 200
Times in which I fell down for no apparent reason, other than my own talent at gravity: 2
Number of times I had to take children to First Aid: 7
Number of times I had to take myself to First Aid: 1
Songs I made up: 3
Songs that worked: 1
Number of silly bandz acquired: 7
Number of swear words uttered by children, caught by me: 8
Number of swear words uttered by me, caught by children: 1
Times I woke up before the sun: 8
Times I ran to Target for camp supplies and/or costume pieces after 10:00 p.m.: 3
Approximate cups of coffee consumed: 22
New facebook friends made: 15-20
Children who drove me crazy: 2
Children whom I loved: 30
Bought and depleted bottles of sunscreen: 1
Number of children who asked about the origins of my camp name: 50+
Number of counselors who knew my name before I got to camp: 10
Percentage of happiness: 1000%

In other news ... I finished the Hunger Games trilogy. If you haven't read it, start. If you haven't finished it, hurry up! I finished book 3 last night, and sobbed through the last 20 or so pages. Seriously. READ THEM NOW.


Anonymous said...

love you madam mim


H said...

I've missed you, but couldn't be more delighted to read about what you've been doing! Your experiences are very soul fulfilling and I am so happy for you! :-)