Tag Archives: summer camp

On being a mom: I love you, You make me crazy.

Hot, cold, rain or snow, the freckle-faced schoolboy and I managed to uphold our promise to wander from west side to east at least once a week; every week school was in session. Today concludes those 5th grade meanderings because by end of day Tuesday, he will move up to sixth grade and summer will officially begin.A boy and his binoculars can see forever

Sweet as he so often is, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of push-me pull-yous since the reality of the season and his imminent stay chez sleep-away camp is on the horizon Yes, it’s his job to separate from his mother. Yes, it’s his job to be short tempered with his mother.

And yes, mothers do have feelings.  And desires. To let our children grow and seize the world.

I don't care said Pierre/the 11-year old

I don't care said Pierre/the 11-year old

Of course, my “mother” job is to raise the children so that they can move along in life, learn to walk, talk and eventually cross the streets with confidence and humility by themselves. With pride and joy I watch as my own have come to navigate their NYC way of life. They not only cross the streets by themselves with self assurance, they’ve come to embrace the excitement and stimulation that this city life has to offer. These were the California kids that just three years ago wouldn’t get out of our car by themselves if only to run 10 feet to the neighborhood bakery and pick up their LA made pain au chocolat or raspberry croissant.

bakery breakfast

bakery breakfast

But now, there’s no turning back. It is true that by spring of 5th grade, many NYC children do not yet have a mastery of public transport. This boy does as do many of his friends. Just the same, as he became comfortable with the concept, the not-so-little 11-year old nearly always requested that I meet him after school and travel by his side. He says he likes the company, as do I.

And that tender time of after-school togetherness is manifested in our winsome walks across the Park. Many times as of late, the schoolboy reached out his arm, hung his hand on my shoulder or held my hand without letting go.

OldTownCanoe It’s easy to understand why. Not only is the boy moving up a grade but there’s the camp thing. His first extended trip away from home. I know he’ll be fine (I hope I’ll be fine) but I will miss him because I know that when he comes back he’ll have made the break. He’ll have spent more than a night or two away learning to canoe, make his bed (maybe) and live with others.

No doubt, the 11-year old’s recent resistant behavior coupled with his hand on my shoulder, he can see the open road. Fortunately, it’s a two way street. xoxo sweet bear.TwoWay

That’s Lice

Last Wednesday’s visit to the salon was the bomb.

Fortunately for me, and for an anxious 14-year old just back from camp in Canada, LA based Hair Fairies has a New York outlet and they were able to schedule an appointment within an hour of my call for help. Another enterprise, one that makes regular visits to the teen’s school for head checks, wasn’t able to confirm an appointment time when I called just before 9 a.m. or again at 10. So, a googling I went to find the competition.  And whew, Hair Fairies rose to the top.

Here’s the thing: I was aware that there are professionals who can check and offset the lice problem. makes me itch just thinking about it And while people do, it’s not necessary to throw out all of your furniture, stuffed animals, toys and have every lick of clothing sent to the cleaners. You may, but there are cleaning techniques and even companies that will do the cleaning/delousing for you. The bugs can only live off the head for 24 to 48 hours. And they don’t fly but are transmitted through direct contact. Remain calm. Within an hour of my request, we dashed “calmly” to the salon in the west 30s.

My fairy princess sat in her barber shop throne while the dedicated technician, clad in royal blue scrubs, a navy blue bandana around her head and gold earrings with Timothy written in script from one end of the hoop to the other, manually checked her hair and scalp. She separated the hair, fine tooth combing section by section first dry, then wet, from top to bottom, under and over, in search of head lice. At each interval, dry, wet and a third looksee with nit zapping cream, V-Marie stated her findings or lack thereof.  “Didn’t find anything yet,” she said.

Meanwhile, I checked out the salon scene. Long locked Hannah Montana played on a flat screen across the room, colorful kids playthings neatly arranged throughout included a kitchen corner, drawing table, game boy DS, a noticeable lack of fabric and teeny curly headed fairies hung down from the tops of each of the four window frames overlooking Avenue of the Americas.

And then, “Nothing,” said V-Marie with a smile. She completed the wet stage of her comb-through examination of the near waist-length Botticelli like curls of my growing girl.

As to why head lice seem to have gone mainstream, ie fancy sleep away camps, private schools, kids, teens and adults, it’s anyone’s guess. Perhaps they’ve developed a resistance to the pesticides that people use to rid themselves of the white bugs and eggs. No matter, they exist and deal with the prospect we did.

The morning after we arrived home, the early-to-rise camper cum glamour girl crawled into my bed, leaned her head against the fabric headboard and proceeded to watch a video on her laptop. I did my best to refrain from cringing over the prospect of little white bugs crawling from her head to my bed. I was touched, frankly, by her wanting to be with me after weeks apart. Besides, the worst thing I could do, I think, would be to show my anxiety and turn her away. If the bugs were in our house, they were in our house, my bed or not.  Freaking out about the unknown wouldn’t serve me or my daughter.

Caring for her, about her, is as simple as saying it’s my job. I would do anything for my children.  No matter what. The way a mom stands by her wretching child, holding her hair, gently stroking her back as she heaves into the toilet. Gross, yes, but of no import. What matters is trying to offer some sense of humility in an otherwise unpleasant time.

Yet somehow, with the bugs, though I did a preliminary looksee, it was to little avail. I didn’t really know what I was looking for nor was I forced to delouse her head or our home. Fortunately for this household, no bugs, no nits.  A giant sigh of relief. And next time, I’ll know who to call.