My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Camp

I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with my nieces after they got back from Summer Camp on Friday and I was absolutely thrilled to be able to do it!

My sister-in-law, who is an amazing career woman with a Doctorate in Eduction has made a job change that was a good move for her, benefits and retirement much better, more specific to the types of things she likes to do and so forth. Unfortunately, the job is in Atlanta. We are about 80 miles north of Atlanta. Eventually she'll be able to only be in the office a day or so each week but for this first month, she has to go every day. She drives down to meet a commuter bus which takes her into the city... has her work day... then catches the bus back to her car and it's essentially a 12 hour day when you include commute.

Normally this wouldn't be a big deal because my brother is DA BOMB when it comes to taking care of his girls. He is a very involved daddy and very supportive husband. So... normally... Angie having a very intense month of commuting wouldn't be a big deal, Jim would just swoop in and fill in the blanks. But Jim is in Africa.

Angie's mother, "Grammy" moved up here last Summer after her husband, Gramps, passed away at the end of March. Grammy has been one hundred percent committed to making sure things go well while Angie's in this transition time and Jim is out of the country. We are so grateful to have her here! I love how well she takes care of my girls. I can do some things to help occasionally but I have a lot of things that limit my ability to help. And a lot of times I get up and know right away that I'm going to either be on pain meds that day and be unable to care for impressionable young ones... or I'm going to be in so much pain that I shouldn't be caring for impressionable young ones. I try to not let the girls know when I'm in pain. It's a burden I don't want them to carry, this whole pain issue.

Grammy, on the other hand, is ten feet tall and bullet proof. She is living large... spending time with another sweet lady in our church who lost her husband last year... And on Friday evening, she and this friend were going to see Air Supply in concert. How fun is that? So there was that little gap of time between when Grammy needed to leave and when Angie could get home from work. Kids fresh off a week of camp? Back with a week's full of excitement to share? Yes! Sign me up! What a precious time to spend with them!

And it was truly precious! They went to this super duper boot camp where they had more physical activity in a week than I would have had in a whole year growing up. I mean, back at Camp Pinnacle we sang songs... we made bead necklaces and ate popsicles and had campfires... it was very primitive. These kids were doing rock climbing and ziplining and kayaking - it looked like Survivor! They had a CD to show me... and it was really amazing how active and involved this program is.

We talked about our best/worst times of camp... our most embarrassing camp experience (mine is so embarrassing I won't even put it here but the girls got a good laugh at it). Jamie's best thing about camp was a girl in her cabin who accepted Christ. What a sweet spirit my Jamie has! They froze the frame on the video that showed their group and told me the names of every person and special memories and details about each one.

I went to Camp Pinnacle in 1977 and 78 and I still remember some of the girls that were in my cabin. I also remember who wasn't in my cabin - my bestie Dewayna - I had to pick between her and a girl named Doreen and the girl named Doreen had been my buddie the first year so, typical Taurus (nod to my friend Gina who always says that) I didn't want anything to change even though I would have had a much, much better time with Dewayna because Doreen was a bit of a bore and it made Dewayna be stuck with this girl named Betty. It's like our group was from the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950's - Betty? Doreen? Seriously? Anyways...

I figured the girls would want to wind down a bit so I made them each a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (because I've learned that these girls are not into culinary masterpieces... ) and just chilled, watching Sarabeth play Wii and chatting with Jamie. I taught Jamie (age 8) to play sudoku and she was GOOD at it! I even had it set on a hard level and shared a few of my tricks for solving and she rocked it. We just hung out. Bonded. Not a family holiday or birthday party where there's so much commotion and noise... just me and my girls, the bonus girls that God gave me since I didn't have any daughters.

Every time I spend with these girls, I see the imprint of my life on theirs and it makes me so proud... even in little things... we were watching Pocahontas and I told Jamie that our Mayflower Ancestor, Stephen Hopkins, was believed to have been at the Jamestown settlement where Pocohontas meets John Smith. It turns out that Jamie had actually started reading the book I loaned her about Stephen Hopkins and had retained some of the information. I want them to have this legacy, to be able to have pride in their roots. That's the big difference in having girls who are more emotionally connected to details than having boys who are less "moved" by things. My boys are fairly sentimental but girls are just so much more interested in these kind of details.

So anyways... that was my Friday. Austin and Logan were to spend the night with their friend Will but Austin started feeling bad and so Logan brought him home - very rare for Austin to bail out on things - and he went straight to bed. I crashed by about 10pm myself and slept until the cats insisted that I get up at around 8am. This morning I made a trip into town to get prescriptions refilled, pick up a few necessities, gas up the car and stop by the bakery. The bakery was PACKED... I forgot how busy things are on Summer weekends if you don't get out and about early. And today... I'm going to try to be comfortable... this has been a bad week, pain wise, and I want to have a day or two of feeling relatively normal, if at all possible.

Hope you have a great weekend! Love and hugs, y'all.