Closing Ceremony for Camp Mama

Photo: Oh hey, is it the last day of summer? Why not celebrate by going outside in our pajamas and slippers and getting all crazy dirty and junk? Oh and is it 2pm and ya’ll still refuse to go inside, each lunch and take a nap? That’s cool. I’m cool. Your little selves are gettin’ back on schedule tomorrow, so you might as well party like it’s mardi gras today!


Today is the last day of Camp Mama(wannasendyoutoboardingschooluntilyougraduatefromhighschool). For the boys, this means very little, but for me, it means the big count-down until sweet, sweet relief. Someone else is gonna take on the challenges of my little bears! Hurray!!!

There is, of course, a lot that needs to be done. I’ve declared today The Great Sock Roundup of 2014, where I go scour every obscure nook and cranny of this farmhouse for socks that fit on little toddler feet. It doesn’t seem to matter what systems I put in place, little socks end up off of little feet and away from their partners and in totally random places. Like in plants. And lamps. And the TV stand. Under my bed. Under the clawfoot tub… I’m relieved to say that I didn’t find any in my refrigerator.

Of course, there are still socks without partners because that is just the nature of socks. And I’m currently in laundry hell trying to get those socks, and other articles of clothing in the house clean, dried, folded and put away (that “put away” element is always the hardest part… clothing often languishes, clean and folded, in laundry baskets for days before making it to dresser drawers) before the husband comes home.

I have also decided, because I’m a vain woman, that I need to get these locs clean, conditioned and retwisted before tomorrow. Oh, and I’m baking biscuits and making barbecued pulled chicken for dinner? The busy season, she returns.

And I write about how challenging the boys have been in these last few weeks, but I really have to stop. I’m typing this on my front lawn. The breeze is wafting through the trees and bushes, my boys are running around covered in dirt from head to toe, my house is clean and ready to receive all of the dirt they are about to track in…

All I can feel is gratitude for this moment.

Ursa Minor’s new teacher, who taught Ursa Major last year, put it perfectly this morning as she was standing in my playroom: “I remember meeting you at the first open house last year, and you were so flustered and stressed! And you didn’t know anybody and you didn’t think that this was going to work and we didn’t know what to make of you! and now here you are. You’re so happy, so relaxed! And everyone knows you and your boys! You are going to have such a great year this year!”

I didn’t know shit last year. I didn’t know what was up or down last year. Remember when I lost my keys in that townhouse and screamed to the heavens like I was a forsaken soul? I was such a hot damn mess!

It really is going to be a great year. I can be myself from beginning to end, I’m going to have more time on my hands so I can write and feel productive, I’m now better known in the community so I can be more social… and the more comfortable and involved I feel, the better results I can produce for my two little bears. I’m relieved that school is back, and I’m feeling excited. Mom excited is different than student excited and even teacher excited. I have such different expectations and anxieties. It’s thrilling, really. I’m looking forward to writing about more school adventures as we go.

I am thrilled to write that Ursa Major finally figured out how to use all of the functions of the toilet yesterday! It only took all freaking summer, but my big boy finally knows how to produce number one and number two on the potty! Wooo hooo!!! And he did it multiple times yesterday, because that’s how toddlers roll. Of course, in true toddler form, he promptly forgot his new-found skill this morning and had an accident. “I was too busy playing with my cars and trucks,” he reported in a most blase fashion. We still have work to do… but at least I can send him to school knowing that if he needs to uh… do the doo… he can do it on the toilet if prompted to do so.

In my excitement, I sent my husband and my mom text messages. Such a mom.

Other mom moment of the day yesterday: In the middle of the bakery section of the grocery store, I had Ursa Major pick out cookies because that’s his potty reward (half a cookie for 1, whole cookie for 2). He picks out the cookies with the M&Ms baked in (lordy…) and I put it in the basket. He then puts his hands up and announces at the top of his lungs, “I get to have a cookie when I get home because I WENT POOPIE IN THE POTTY!!”

Oh the looks… Some people managed to keep it moving. A couple of little old ladies made a face. There was one knowing nod from another mom with a toddler. Good times. I’m going to tuck that moment away for a time of embarrassing retelling.

Wish me luck tomorrow! First day of school, three meetings involving parent involvement, end of the week baking… It’s going to be a long day. But totally worth it to see the smile on Ursa Major’s face as I drop him off for school (Ursa Minor is going to be pissed when he realizes that he doesn’t get to stay).

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Miriam Joy says:

    Enjoy your quiet time while they’re at school — you certainly sound like you’ve earned it! 🙂

  2. Socks, don’t get me started on socks! (Here, the husband takes care of the quarter yearly sock round ups, saying things like “Eventually, we’ll find them all. You have think of it as a puzzle…”)

    I see, you changed your worthy challenge. I think, if you manage it in the first quarter of 2015, you’ll still be doing great. Just read some of those articles/essays by published and successful authors about publishing their first books. It always seems to have taken them forever. And I would NOT call them failures.

  3. Britt says:

    There is so much joy here! This is a gorgeous and funny and delightful tribute to gratitude. My sons took FOREVER to potty train and then the “MOMMY! I’m DONE!!” duty seemed to last another eternity. My kids still leave socks every-fucking-where.

    What a kindness for the teacher to notice what a difference a year makes. You’re destined to be The Mom in Charge, the one everyone calls for answers, the one who organizes the gifts and knows the rules. I also love how you take pride in your home and kiddos (even calling it a vanity)– I’m right with you there.

    Thanks for this bit of light and beauty today! xoxo

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