Monday, July 25, 2011


As the time to head to camp fast approaches I can't help but remember last year and wonder what could possibly be in store this year....
Last year, I bought a small 8 ft pool for my backyard. The only level area in my yard is next to the fence which is next to a very busy road. So, I invested in a tent 10ftx10ft. Then I invested in sides for the tent, as no one needs to see me in a bathing suit. Then I realised I needed some matting for the pool to sit on so it would be protected. All in all it was a great set up. Only cost me about $300. It was in place, and enjoyed tremendously for 3 weeks before my son and I left for camp.
I packed, checked and double checked to make sure we had everything we needed. Car was packed, we were ready. All I could think was "I'm on my way to the best place on earth. We drove the 45 minutes and we were finally there. I breathed deep and felt myself relax. I unloaded the car, turned on the power and opened up the camp. We were here, a whole week of relaxation and fellowship with the people I consider my "other family". We took a walk around the circle, a time honored tradition, to see who was there already. I turned on the water when we got back to the camp, the pump burned out after 30 sec of water. Really??? I just bought the pump last year. We've used it maybe 12 times. Oh well, there's plenty of water on the grounds. No big deal. As long as I can visit with friends, go to communion, enjoy an hr to exercise while my son is at jr bible study in am, do arts and crafts and go to song service at night, it will be a fantastic week.
First full day of campmeeting. I tell my son I'll be at communion for 1/2hr at the chapel ( the great thing about camp is the extra freedom for my son and me) I was there enjoying the opening hymn when in walks my son, he needs me. Can't wait for communion to end, I have to come back to the camp now. Ok, as long as I can visit with my friends, enjoy an hr to excersise, arts and crafts, and song service it will be a great week.
Next up is jr bible study, I walk my son to class anticipating my work out at the camp, only to have my child have a melt down as I go to leave. Sounds rediculous I know, but my child is special needs so there are extenuating circumstances. He is also refusing to use the bathrooms as he's seen spiders on the outside of the building. Ok, as long as I can visit with friends, do arts and crafts, and enjoy song service, it will be a great week.
As we are walking back to my camp I run into a friend I haven't seen since the last year. We start to catch up, my son gets aggitated and pulling me to the camp. She follows, not picking up on my kids cues, I on the other hand pick up on them, I just choose to ignore them. My friend comes into the camp and sits down. We are talking, having a years worth of news to share. My child interupts every two minutes and starts to escalate to the point that my friend has to leave 15 min upon arriving. AS LONG AS I can enjoy arts and crafts and song service I'll have a great week!!!!!
That afternoon after going to the beach ( where I found out my accountant screwed up and got
me an individual pass to state parks and not a vehicle pass- makes a difference!) we head over to arts and crafts. Only to have to turn around half way there because my son is refusing to go. AS LONG AS I CAN ENJOY SONG SERVICE IT WILL BE A GOOD WEEK!
We eat dinner, after dinner we head to the chapel for song service. Miracle of miracles!!! I get to stay! I sing my heart out! I have so much fun I barely notice my child has left the chapel and gone back to our camp. It's going to be a great week.
2 days later, we have to go home for an appt with my sons psychiatrist. We leave early to stop home for a shower for me and a bath for him. This is where I lost it. The tent over the pool had blown over into a tree, frame bent and top and sides ripped. The frame had ripped a huge unrepairable hole in the pool. The foam matting under the pool had blown in the street. After my huge meltdown, we got cleaned up, cleaned up the yard and off to the appt. Headed back to camp, still had 5 more days after today! 2 days later after only participating in song service my child demanded to go home. Are you
kidding me???
So, from last year to this year I'm not sure what I should expect. Especially learning there is no song service this year. Here's hoping that with all my sons growth this year it won't be so Chevy Chase like. Happy camping everyone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heaven help me

I work with adults with developemental disabilities. This is a demanding but very rewarding job. Most of the time I enjoy what I do, mostly. I was given the pleasure of driving 2 hours to pick up 3 clients (2 were mine and 1 was from another house I used to work at) from camp and drive them home. (and stay with my 2 clients the rest of the day of course) I got to the camp with no mishaps, checked them out and picked up their meds and any left over money that was not spent. I hunted down my clients, did a lot of creative packing as they all seemed to pack for 2 months instead of the 5 days they were actually there for. Then we put on our seat belts and were off I put some music on, my 2 clients sang away for 2 songs then lost interest. They quickly all put on headphones and listened to their own music. Blessing, right? Wrong! They all sang to their own music out loud. I should tell you at this point that they are all tone deaf too.
What a drive home right? Well to top it off, an hour into the homeward trip I got a phone call telling me I needed to head back to camp because they packed someones I insulin in with my clients meds. Are you kidding me? I explained that with tolls, gas and the fact that it was 12:30 and none of my clients had eaten lunch ( and are very big on schedules) this wasn't an option. They offered to send someone down to retrieve it, but again I explained that I would not be subjecting my clients to sitting in a parking lot for an hour while we waited. They finally decided to have a camp councilor's mom who lives in the town over come and pick it up. I agreed, and stopped at the commuters parking lot and got down to waiting. However, if you remember from the beginning of this story, I picked up the meds first. This meant I had to take everything out of the back of the vehicle to get to the meds and repack. Did I mention that the temp was in the 90's? And it was very humid?
Finally the woman got there, I gave her the med, then she tells me her cell died and she needs to borrow my phone because she wants to change the meeting place with her child to hand over the insulin. I give her my phone, she doesn't know the number, I have to redial the number that I was called from, then she had a lengthy discussion on why the meeting place should change. I finally got my phone back and we were on our way again, but now 2 clients need a bathroom break. We stop, I fill up the gas tank at this time. They come out, only to have the other decide they need to go too. Finally on the road again, listening to 3 tonedeaf clients singing to 3 different songs at the same time.
Our 2 hr return trip became a 3&1/2 hr trip fraught with bumps, and headaches, ok only one really big headache, but we made it home, belongings were brought in, lunch was made and eaten ( to some very uncomfortable noises, they sounded like they enjoyed their sandwiches way more than they should have. I almost left the room to give them privacy) but we did make it home.
Moral of this story: always double and triple check meds for clients when you are picking them up from camp, and bring earplugs (or your own Walkman with earphones). Enjoy some silence once in a while. It will do your mind and body good. In health.....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's summertime again

So the weather has turned hot, and it reminds me of growing up on my grandparents farm. We used to hay on the weekends. I loved it. We'd hay all afternoon, my brother chasing us with a cooler full of those tiny drinks. When we were done for the day, we'd hose off and swim in the pool as the adults bbq'd and got the food ready. After the food was eaten, the conversation and laughs were spent, us kids would jump in the pool one last time before heading home to sleep the sleep of exhausted children.
This was my reality. However, this was not my friends reality of haying. While my grandfather had what you'd call a gentlemans farm, my friends parents had a real working farm. She couldn't understand why I would enjoy haying, and actively looked forward to it. She thought I was nuts, but was interested in capitalizing on my interest. So I was invited to join her, her dad, and all the farm hands in an afternoon of haying.
I was up for the challenge. I was pumped. Couldn't wait to spend the day in the field, sweating and working hard. Until I picked up my first bale of hay. It had to be 5 times the weight of my grandfathers bales. I could barely lift it. I had a dreadful thought: they aren't going to get lighter. So I put my first bale of hay on the truck, turned to my friend and said: "ok, well, I got to go now, bye!". And I left. Everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at me. The girl who loves to hay, who lifted one bale of hay and then bailed herself.
I was recently
talking to my friend and she told me her while family still laughs about that day and what a whimp I was. But in my defense, her dad was/is evil in his bale making activities. I truely believe that my grandfather had it right in the lighter, friendlier bales. Oh well, I still miss haying to this day, the smells, the family time, the pool time and the laughs. I just don'tiss evil heavy bales. Give me light ones anyday. Now I'll go back to chewing my cud....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beloved beachball

So, last week I bought a beach ball. I just wanted one for the pool, I didn't realize it was going to be so large. It took up 1/4 of the pool. (doesn't mean too much as it's a small 8ft round pool). Anyway, my son and I realized it was too big to enjoy in the pool and put it just outside the pool but still in the tent. (the pool is inside a tent because I live on a very busy street and the only level area for the pool leaves us very exposed. Plus my son likes to swim naked when I will allow it, and I have a little {ok a lot} too much of me to be comfortable exposing myself to the whole city of South Portland). The very next day, while I was at work and my son was at his fathers apartment for the night there was a storm that blew through. I got home, went to bed, woke and got on with my day. It was later that afternoon when we came home from an appt and had my sons friend over and in the pool did I realize that my giant beach ball was missing.
I couldn't decide if I was annoyed at having lost a ball I just purchased and wasted the $5 or more amused at the idea of it rolling down Broadway to the amusement, astonishment, and confusion of the people walking/driving down the road. Amusement won. I quickly thought of making missing posters to put up around the neighborhood. I giggled at the thought and diissed it as too silly. That is until I posted my tragic tale on facebook and had a friend dare me to make up signs. So I rose to the challenge and quickly made my sign, which a 2 year old could Have made look better by the way....I'd post the picture of my sign but I'm not tchnilogically advanced enough to figure out how.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gender identity

So, my question today is: how do you deal with an 8 yr old boy, who says he's a girl? I love my son, and accept him for whoever he is. He told me a couple months ago that he is a girl. Ok. I'll be ok with that. He gave me his new name, I let her pick out underwear, since she has gained so much weight from hopefully-soon-to-be-ex-husbands frequent trips to dairy queen and her medications. See? I'm referring to my child as a she....I'm growing in acceptance. Aren't you proud? So she picked out girls underwear. The smile on her face every morning in her flowery underwear makes it hard to be in anyway uncomfortable with the situation. She came into my bedroom the other morning, (naked- her favorite way to sleep), cupping her chest excited that she had boobs and wishing she had bras for little girls. How the heck do I deal with this??? Cause she really does have boybies, but it's from the weight gain, not from female hormones.
The other problem is she's happy to be a he when it's convenient. Take yesterday for instance. HE was quick to whip off his shirt and go topless to get in the pool, he also has the VERY male tendency to grab himself almost constantly. I guess the topless thing could still be a she thing, and she's just growing up to be an exhibitionist.
I guess I should just be grateful. I've always wanted two children, a boy and a girl. I just happen to have them both in one child. AT THE SAME TIME!!!!! I mean really, how many parents can say that. So for now, I'll take it one moment at a time, and love my child for who he/she is. Have a wonderful night.