Archive for the ‘camp’ Category

We’re all together again …

Maya came home yesterday, looking healthy, happy and full of stories of camp. She appears to have loved every minute of it, as we predicted. Sometimes, parents really do know best (she didn’t want to go for years, this one included, but we basically told her this year she had no choice, because we knew it was the right thing for her).

It was the same camp her dad attended, and all the cabins, activities and events are in Hebrew, which means that the rest of us don’t understand what they are talking about.

I figured she’d be tired, without anyone to demand she go to sleep for 3 weeks, but what I didn’t know until yesterday is that on the last night, they don’t bother with a curfew at all, and she stayed up all night. I have never voluntarily stayed up all night. I have forced myself a few times in university and have done so since when attending a birth, but I would never do it for fun. As far as I’m concerned, that’s akin to taking an ice cold shower for fun,  or fasting all day for fun. But Maya has never found sleep very appealing.

That being said, it caught up with her in a big way. She dozed off before dinner, I woke her to eat, and she dozed off after. I put her to bed at about 8:30 pm. When I need to go to the doctor this morning, I woke her at 9 am and immediately realized I was being an idiot, as my cleaning lady/mother’s helper/wife had arrived and would be staying until I returned. I apologized to Maya and asked if she’d like to just go back to sleep. I didn’t hold out much hope, as she’s the sort of kid who, if accidentally awaken at 5 am by the birds, won’t go back to sleep. This time, however, she just rolled over and closed her eyes.

She finally got up at 11 am. Fourteen and a half hours sleep. Now, we are doing laundry. Much laundry. Thank goodness for front loaders.

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Maya is coming home today. She sent us 6 letters from camp, all going on about the lovely time she had, and giving some nice detail about her friends, the food, the canoe trip she went on. But my favourite letter is the one where she describes her older cousin’s new mohawk and how he now looks like a complete idiot and she has decided he is no longer related to her. What I like about this letter is that I then went online to see if they’d put any new pictures up, and they had. The timing of the letter and the event pictured meant I’d get to see pictures of my nephew’s new do. And sure enough, there was my nephew … looking just the same as before! She scammed us! And did a darn good job too, because we were completely sucked in.

Jasper is waiting in the car for his walk at the off-leash park (he goes out when J takes the kids to camp and insists on getting in my car to wait – afraid I’ll forget him, I guess. So now I will just give you some of the gratuitous photos I spent yesterday uploading.


Last year at this time, we brought home a stray cat who had been hanging around our cottage all summer. We’d named her Shahora (Hebrew, basically meaning Blackie). She was a lovely, friendly girl, but knocked up and we figured that some irresponsible owner had dumped her in the country upon figuring out her condition. I refused to leave her there when we left at the end of the summer, so we ended up with a hugely pregnant cat in our basement (keeping her separate from the other cats who live here).

Shahora had five kittens. We found homes for all of them quite quickly, including mama cat. And we still get to visit three, as my brother took two and a close friend took one.

We – meaning the kids and I – loved watching the kittens grow, and I can’t believe it has already been a year. I was looking through some photos of their kittenhood (I have only about 70 thousand) and figured I might as well toss a few up here.


This is Harry, named after Harry Potter because of the lightening bolt. Harry was then Harriet for a while, but is now back to Harry. He hurt his leg somehow and couldn’t walk. He used to lie like this and swipe at whatever sibling came by, still managing to get into battles without being able to walk. Because of the injury, he wasn’t getting his fair share of nursing, and I had to supplemental feed him until he healed.


At back is a fully black guy (like his mom) we named Sam. Harry and Stormy are sparring in the front.


Stormy is trying to convince mama to let him nurse. He was the biggest mama’s boy.


He convinced her, and the rest followed suit.


Stormy, snoozing.


Lucy, the only girl, finds a comfortable (?!) place to rest.


Sammy, all tucked in by Boo.

The only one missing is Cookie, who was actually my favourite.

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Well, Maya is still at camp and, at last report, is still having a marvelous time. We’ve actually received four letters from her, all happy and full of detail. She seems to  have inherited her mother’s letter-writing ability.

Asher and Boo are also happily at camp – daycamp – for this week and next. My goal for these three child-free weeks was to make significant progress on the book-writing and decluttering the madhouse. The decluttering is going better than the book.

Mostly, this is the fault of the editor of our local Jewish newspaper, who asked me to fill in for a columnist who took the summer off. I guess he liked what he saw, because he then asked me to write a three-part feature for the next three papers. The first one, a general overview of converstion, is due Friday. He said, “Can you do 1000 words by Friday?” I said, “Sure!” And I can too, but it means not much happening on the blog, or the book.

And that is why it is quiet around here.

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Okay, she’s not exactly a baby, since she is 11, and she’s only gone to camp, but still, it’s weird.

I started going to sleep-away camp when I was 6, but that was just for a weekend. I can’t remember when I began to go longer, but it would have been a gradual process, working my way up to a whole summer in my teens. Maya, in contrast, refused to go before this year and therefore missed the shorter introduction to camp for younger kids. She (and we) just gets thrown into the deep end, 3.5 weeks.

The longest I have been away from her is 10 days, and that was when I was going somewhere, not her. It’s a lot more fun that way, let me tell you.

I know she’s going to have lots of fun, and her cousins, who she is really close to, are there so they’ll show her the ropes, and the weather got lovely, and she’s such a mature and responsible kid that she’ll do just great and I loved sleep-away camp when I was a kid and I’m sure she will too. But there’s still a little twitch of a worry that she won’t.

And I miss her more than I expected. I already wrote to her. In the age of instant communication, the parents can email their kids, and the camp will print off the emails twice a day and deliver them to the kids. The kids are low-tech, though, and have to write to us the old-fashioned way. Maya insisted she would write daily, but I think we’ll be lucky with two letters total, and that is just because I wrote the first one for her, as a bit of a joke. (I wrote stuff like, “(Circle one) I am having a great/okay/awful time. The food is better than you’ve ever fed me/okay, I guess/makes me want to puke…”)

I wonder how often I can write to her before her cabin mates start to make fun of her?

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