Thursday, August 11, 2005

I Guess It Wakes Them Up, Anyway.

Mermaid girl started Jewish Camp this week. Whoa! It's way different from Zoo Camp, more like a "regular camp"-- arts & crafts, swimming, color war (such a bogus concept-- I *never* liked Color War, even as a kid). It goes from Entering-Kindergarten all the way up to Entering-8th-Grade, so, just as it will be in September, MG, with her August 28th birthday, is, if not the very youngest kid, extremely close to it. Unlike Zoo Camp, she has no old friends there. She was noticeably jittery the first morning, but after I sat with her for about 15 minutes and she met her overwhelmingly friendly, upbeat counselors, she told me I oculd go.

Ive forgotten that at the beginning of a new care situation with MG (the Toddler Room, then the Preschool, and now Jewish Camp) I am ravenously desperate for details of her day. It's such a shock to have no idea what she does all day. Then after a while I get a sense of it and am content with whatever little tidbits she throws my way ("we painted"; "someone threw up") to fill in the rest. This being a new situation, I couldn't help peppering her with questions when I picked her up. She said it was fun, but when I pressd her for more, sighed and said, "It's hard to explain."

I understood completely. I did. I know it's worse than pointless, trying to get information out of her. I hate being interrogated, myself. It's just--I want a picture of it, you know? And part of it is about letting go, too--letting her have a world that I'm not only not part of, but am ignorant about.

This morning we got there a little late so I got to see the beginning of Morning Circle. I don't know what I thought Morning Circle was like-- some quiet, gentle thing happening in each group, maybe--but I was totally blown away by it. 100 or so kids in red camp T-shirts--they're going on a field trip today--stood in a circle in the middle of the gym (this is the Northwest, so camp starts and ends inside in case of rain). A guy in the middle SCREAMED something that sounded like "BO-BO-BO-BOKITUB!" And the kids all SCREAMED back "BO-BO-BO-BOKITUB!" Then more similar call-and-response screaming, echoing off the gymnasium walls.

MG was backed against the wall, looking glassy-eyed, obviously no more ready for Morning Circle than she would be for Morning Firing Squad. We are not morning people in our house. I edged over to her counselor and whispered, "What are they saying?" "Boker Tov," she answered, on her way over to comfort MG. "It means 'Good Morning' in Hebrew."

"Aaah." Actually I knew what "Boker Tov" means, being a Hebrew School graduate, but hadn't been able to make it out at that volume. I slipped a camp T-shirt over an unresisting MG, gave her a hug and kiss, and backed away as the counselor slipped an arm around her and tried to guide her to the circle. The peppy guy was by now jumping up and down on the stage, challenging the circle of kids to yell "RUACH" (spirit) loud enough to bounce him off. I have no doubt that they could, but I didn't stick around to see it, figuring MG would do better without me.

Good Lord, do they do that every morning? I must ask her.

I'm at work now. It's nice and quiet here.

2 Comments:

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12:57 AM  
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2:37 PM  

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