Today is chicken nugget day. Tomorrow is a dress-up day and a swim day. Three cheers for public pools. Friday is a theme day. But more importantly, Friday is chicken burger day.
Except none of that is true anymore.
Camp ended last Friday; I’m still operating in “camp mode.” My body wakes up early in the morning, as if it has somewhere more important to go other than the opposite side of the bed.
The last two months went by quickly. They always do. But this summer felt like a fast forward button was pressed and never released. Every day felt exactly the same, yet completely different from all the rest.
The end of the day always seemed to arrive faster and faster as the summer went on. I guess that was a good thing.
I look back on my two months working at camp and, off the top of my head, it’s hard for me to remember specific things that happened. All of the memories aren’t separate. They’re all clumped together. Knowing that two months have already passed feels like a practical joke.
Insert Narnia reference here.
All I know for sure is that camp was a lot of fun. The staff was a big part of that. So were the kids. Once you get over how challenging some kids are, you can start having fun with them.
Being in the same room as campers who were born in 2010 was frightening. I could feel the grey hairs sprouting from my scalp. But don’t worry, I resisted the urge to reserve my spot at the nearest retirement homes.
Those kids have their entire lives ahead of them. They won’t be my age until the year 2034.
Be right back, calling those retirement homes now.
The last day of camp didn’t even feel like the last day of camp. Maybe I’ve been through too many of them and knew what to expect this time. It just felt like another day, only this one ended with pizza, permanent goodbyes, and leftover boxes of Kraft Dinner.
The whole summer felt rushed. Maybe it was just me.
Four days later, everything has slowed down.
Now, the days don’t fly by. Maybe I should implement a morning and afternoon snack into my daily routine because those two “can’t miss” events really helped divide the day up into manageable chunks of time.
And I like to eat, so everyone wins.
Camp is like a parallel universe. When it’s time to come back to reality, there’s an adjustment period.
When I go out in public and see kids misbehaving, I have to resist the urge to do something about it. This normally takes a month or two.
When I see someone with an open water bottle, I have to trust that they don’t intend to pour it down my back.
When I see a kid drop food on the floor at a restaurant, I have to resist the urge to tell them to pick it up.
When I see a kid throwing a tantrum, I have to resist the urge to remove them from the situation. Their parents would think I’m kidnapping them.
There should be post-camp rehab. I’d go.
But in all seriousness, there’s nothing quite like working at a summer camp. A lot of people sat inside their workplace all summer complaining about how hot it was, while air conditioning was their best friend.
I got to play sports outside in the heat for two months, while kids less than half my age were my best friends.
That’s what I loved most about working at camp. It never felt like work.
See you tomorrow. We’re having pasta for lunch.