Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday So Far

It's pouring rain outside. The first Blanket Time of the week is going to be inside. But it's OK, because it's finally cooler. I think the heat wave is over for the time being.

After morning circle, Christine and I took charge of a screaming toddler who did not want to go to babysitting time in the Lodge. The three of us rode around on the golf cart for awhile, up and down the hill to the pool, making donuts around trees, rode underneath wet laundry hanging behind Cabin 3, picked a green apple from a low branch without even getting out of the golf cart, and so on. Eventually we were able to rejoin the others in the Lodge, who were clearly having a great time.

It's raining less hard. After leaving the boy with the babysitters, I went to BJs to pick up apples, ice cream, peanuts, and more apples. We have been eating tons of apples this summer. Last night, I used an apple slicer to quickly core and slice enough apples for everyone at the Family Gathering to have a slice. It is supposed to represent love and joy. After the meeting, a few moms came up to try out the slicer on the remaining apples. A new toy for the kitchen.

After I got back from BJs it was time for mass in the Lodge. I helped Maria Lauren sing Spanish songs I never heard before. Talk about faking it! But the chorus was about how with love and humility, we can move mountains.

It's only drizzling now. I've rung the bell and the volunteers are hunting down their families and settling down for blanket time. After the service was over in the Lodge, I felt a great weariness. Too many days of not enough sleep, fatigue can come out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks. I took a nap!!! 3o minutes! During lunch. So I ate a peanut butter sandwich when I revived and went up to prepare for movie time.

Blankets on the floor. Lights off. All the sofa cushions scattered around the floor. Finally, I get to sit and watch Toy Story 3. The same toddler who screamed in my arms for the first twenty minutes of peer group was now running around and messing with the guitars after the movie got underway. Fortunately, this time his mom was there to take him in hand. Siena and Christine gave out popcorn and juice boxes to the moviegoers and peace and harmony reigned.

I think it has quit raining. After the movie, I took out crayons and paper to the pavilion for a little extra fun during snack time. At some point I noticed a bad word in very large letters chalked on one of the wood pillars on the pavilion. A souvenir from last week, and how did we fail to notice it sooner? I found a wet rag and cleaned it up.

The volunteers are all well seasoned by now. The kids this week have a lot of parental supervision. It's amazingly calm.

I am thinking about Heidy from Week 1. And Sonia from Week 2. And DiMarco from Week 3. Whether a group is calm or fractious, we take them all here. We try to show them a good time. And we try to reflect God's love, as best we can. I know I have failed in that regard many times. But Monday so far, or the program so far, or my life so far, I think on the whole, all is well.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week Zero

A few days ago, Cullen asked me if it was Wednesday of Week One. I did not think this question odd. Time flow during the summer program is different from normal time. One day here is like three regular days out in the real world. We live so much life from morning to afternoon to night that it is easy to lose track. So I replied, "Yes, it's Wednesday, but this is Week Zero. We don't start counting the weeks until the first bus arrives."

Well silly me. He meant which week in Christian Prayer, not in the Summer Program! OK, in that sense, yes, it's Week One!

But we are still living in Week Zero now. It's an odd time. Waiting for the first bus of families to arrive. The bus broke down. We were expecting them at 5 PM, but now we expect them at 10:30. And we are out of mode, out of sync, unsure of where to situate ourselves. I sat at the firepit until the air got too chilly, enjoying the eerie quiet. Everything is perfectly ready. Except there are no families. After weeks of preparation, chaos, and even a little stress, to sit at the fire pit in solitude with nothing to do is ... almost unsettling.

Soon enough, it will be over and Week One will begin. Is it some kind of materialistic American compulsion to be constantly on the journey, engaged in some activity at every moment? Maybe that's why this unexpected time feels like we've sailed the ship off the edge of the earth. We're.... we're... not on a schedule right now! We're lost! Adrift in another dimension!

OK, it's not really that bad. But I can see the wisdom of having healthy portions of Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. Every moment does not need to have a theme and a color. Ordinary time, the in-between time, Week Zero. It's actually kind of cool.