Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012: Lessons Learned for Camp Counseling

Zach loves his summer job.  He works for the Omaha Parks and Recreation as a day camp counselor.  Let me repeat, he "loves" his job.  And even more of a shocker, he "loves" the kids and the kids love him.  No offense to my oldest, but in a million years I would have never dreamt that a job involving children would be in Zach's future.  He has always been an animal lover, but little kids...not so much.  As he describes to me his days full of day camps, bowling, and the zoo; I see a reaction of pride and words of complete job satisfaction.  Who would have thought?  But a very good thing, indeed.

Over dinner I typically get daily updates on how cute the kids are and how much fun the day trips have been.

"How was the zoo today, Zach?"

"Oh, it was awesome, Mom."

"Awesome?  Wow.  How so?"

"The new aquarium was great and the kids loved all of it."

As he describes his various activities around the city, I am reminded of how I dragged the boys on Magical Mystery Bus Tours and summer fun outings across the city when they were young.  We would enjoy every inch of the city that provided childhood entertainment through the days of the summer: the library reading program, zoo, museums, fairs, parades, public swimming pools, Sun Dawgs, picnics, nature walks, bike rides, water parks...  We did it all.  Zach was always my least enthusiastic child on these outings.  Although always a participant, he rarely showed a ton of enthusiasm.  It is just how Zach is wired...comfort in the middle gears.  So the discussion of his job duties clearly begged the question...was all my running them around in summers past good training for him in his current job?  So I posed the question over dinner.  "Yea," Zach responded after a little reflection.  "It probably was."  Maternal affirmation. <sigh>

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012: Signs of Summer

This morning was a reminder to me of the signs of summer that infiltrate my house each year.  Although these signs have changed a bit as my boys have grown older with driver's licenses and new interests outside of play dates and water fights; a five minute stroll through my house provides clues as to what the summer days and nights look like for them.  With the skills of a seasoned CSI agent (a.k.a. Mom), I am quickly able to apprise the last 24 hours of my children's lives by this simple walk through.  Today was no exception.

As I pulled into the driveway after my early morning run, I was greeted with lacrosse sticks strewn in the garage with the background noise of the morning sprinkler system.  A golf bag laid nearby with golf shoes thrown to the side.  While grabbing a cold bottled water, I found a garage frig typically stocked full of a variety of drinks now barren with the exception of two Diet Cokes, sparkling water, and four Stella Artois'.

After opening the door to the house and stumbling on no less than six pairs of shoes scattered in the entryway, I discover a regulation basketball lying on the couch in my formal living room.  A trip to the restroom revealed a key, normally hidden above the door for emergencies, now lying on top of a Calvin and Hobbs book next to the toilet.  On my second attempt to locate a bottled water, I found the kitchen frig with added contents that were nonexistent the night before; two to-go containers from Buffalo Wild Wings and a pizza box from Little Caesar's.  After throwing away a fortune cookie wrapper and unclaimed fortune left on the table, I closed a door left agape while contemplating going down to check how many lights were left on in the basement.

On my continued journey through my summer massacre (previously called home), I tentatively made my way upstairs.  My adept sense of smell brought me to the found treasure of wet, chlorine-filled towels left on the laundry room floor.  After drumming up a bit of courage, I decided the next logical step was to make sure that 1) all boys were accounted for and 2) no unannounced friends spent the night.  To my relief, the boys' rooms revealed three sleeping boys in their appropriate rooms with legs and feet dangling out of beds and couches; a stark reminder on how much longer their legs grew since last summer.  A trip to the upstairs bathroom first brought a sigh of relief on the apparent cleanliness, but then led to the question as to when Grant's toothbrush was last used.  A glance at his shower towel revealed a towel that hadn't changed position in days. I was grateful for the chlorine towels I discovered in the laundry room. 

The most apparent sign of the start of our summer was the shock of the quiet as I left my house for work.  Other than the sound of the sprinklers and the meow of a hungry cat; there was no sound of alarm clocks, running showers, or last minute requests before a school day.  As I was originally greeted with silence when I stepped in from my run, I was also left with the temporary silence as I closed the door behind me.  But knowing this quiet in my life was only temporary gave me temporary pleasure as well.  The house would look and feel much different upon my arrival home at dinner time.  As is key with everything in life with boys, I will definitely hear from them as soon as they get hungry.  And then the summer cycle will start all over again.