Whenever I start to worry about how much of a hot mess I’m becoming during this pandemic, I take comfort in knowing that the world is full of hot messes who, even at the height of their hot messiness, have done some pretty amazing things. Take Keith Richards. He’s been the face of the hot mess for generations. And yet, he’s also a musical genius who co-wrote a song so exquisite and profound, they got angels to sing the intro. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here. See? Angels.)
So maybe things aren’t always what they seem. Or maybe they are, but they’re also something else.
The last nine months have been rotten. They’ve been scary and disappointing and isolating and sad. They have also been thought-provoking and hopeful and heartwarming and beautiful. It’s exhausting having so many feelings at once. It creates a fog that slows everything down. Before the quarantine, I was always going. Then the world came to a screeching halt, and for the first time in my life, there was nowhere to go. No sports, no meetings, no get-togethers with friends. No camp.
Not having camp this year has thrown off my whole equilibrium. This off-season-without-an-actual-season business is for the birds. Only that’s a terrible metaphor, because birds get to fly away and enjoy a change of scenery. For the most part, I’ve managed to stay productive and focused… just not always on the task at hand. For instance, I was on a Peloton streak for a good long time; then, after a series of missteps with my apps* (mishapps?), I inadvertently ended up renovating my kitchen instead.
Here’s the thing: Camp is my sense of balance, my change of scenery, and my favorite self/home improvement project all rolled into one. Without it, I’m just not quite right… and I’m a grown woman. Your boys need camp now more than ever before because camp is the embodiment of everything they’ve lost this year. It’s not just the activities or the 200 brothers surrounding them at all times; it’s the sense of safety, camaraderie, independence, and unadulterated joy that simply can’t be replicated anywhere else.
What we have in the works for our 90th summer can’t possibly make up for all that they’ve missed, but that’s not what they need from us anyway. What they need is the opportunity to get away, to unwind, to unplug, to reconnect, and to start to put it all behind them. They need sunsets and Hodgie’s and whist and euro. They need each other.
That we can give them.
Stay safe and hang in there. 2020 is almost behind us. It’s time to look ahead to new beginnings…
188 days ’til camp.
P.S. I just tried to reimburse a friend for a group birthday gift and instead wound up glued to 40 minutes’ worth of Bauercrest videos**. Not to toot my own horn, but they were totally worth the watch (again). I feel better already.
*When he first read this, Ken didn’t notice a difference between the two “P” icons I posted. (Case in point, right?!?) Being all too familiar with the inner workings of my brain, he didn’t even question why opening the Peloton app might compel me to start redecorating my house. Now that he gets it (I believe his exact words were, “Oh! That’s really funny!”), he is insisting that I step on the punchline and explain that the “P” on the left is the Peloton app, while the one on the right is Pinterest. But you already knew that, didn’t you?
**Same concept. Venmo and Vimeo. I honestly still have no idea which is which.