An old friend, my old life, knocks at the door.

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Got a very unexpected email a few weeks back, asking if TMD, myself, or both of us would like to direct the camp we used to run. Just for this summer. With an old friend.

I’m getting to the point in my parenting journey I’ve heard so much about – the mythical, magical three year point when a set of twins is somewhat easier than a singleton would be. My kids are absolute best friends and play together all the time. They often get absorbed in their own world and don’t need me as much (unless, of course, I should decide to sit down and relax). This leaves me with more time.

More time to feel the exhaustion of the past 3.5 years. More time to realise there may be space for me to return more, the Existere I was before children. There may be room for me to have some reemerging selfhood right alongside my role as a mother and home educator. Or at least there will be room in theory, if I ever push past my inertia. As soon as I get two seconds, or two hours, free, all I want to do is lie in bed and watch The People’s Court, you know?

I’ve thought on and off about the offer to return to camp. If we were living in Country A, I have no doubt we would be camping professionals. It is what life was before we moved, an encompassing lifestyle, a fun lifestyle, a demanding lifestyle.

I don’t think there is any way to make our current life and family compatible with the intensity of summer camp again (laugh if you will, but at any level of working at camp, from counsellor through to director, it requires 24 hours of your time, every day). Can I go on my own with the children? No, not if I want to actually accomplish anything. Maybe as staff director I could hack it, but then the kids are away from TMD all summer.

Could we afford for TMD to take a three month sabbatical? No. Even with her paltry salary, it’s still more than camp would pay. Especially with the exchange rate. And not to mention there’s no way TMD would get a visa at this point.

So I will stay here this summer. But if my friend does go back to camp, I will imagine a life where we go to visit her, where things smell like campfire smoke and green, where children are living and laughing and discovering themselves, where sleeping outside for months at a time only makes you want to sleep outside forever.

Camp.

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2 Responses to “An old friend, my old life, knocks at the door.”

  1. mummysallygg Says:

    That sounds like an amazing opportunity and all the harder to have to decline. This year. But there will be other years I’m sure, when you can go as a family and all get so much from it.

  2. pajamamommas Says:

    Ohh, campcampcampcampcamp! I had a cd of Nancy Griffith songs on the other day and was feeling all nostalgic for the camp I used to work at where we sang her songs a lot (for some reason mostly the really depressing ones). I miss lots of things about the cool adventures I used to have (though parenting is it’s own crazy brand of adventure….)

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