I’m so glad we’re not in NYC for Meteor Watch day. The light pollution in the city is so intense and would definitely mar our ability to catch a glimpse of any shooting stars. It makes me wonder if city dwellers are ever interested in heading out for a nature trek to see some of the more spectacular sights? Yes, NYC is filled with amazing man-made spectacles but there’s nothing like laying on your back under a blanket of thick stars and watching a star or two streak across the sky. I guess Times Square does have that Naked Cowboy – maybe that’s enough “streaking” for the average New Yorker? I really can’t say.
I just had a flashback from my days as a camp counselor. Now, while most of you would have imagined me as a counselor for children with special needs, I chose to spend two summers as a counselor for the over-privileged from the Tri-State area. Most of the children I worked with were from incredibly wealthy families. They were shipped off to camp for the entire summer and had to endure the following: blistering heat without A/C, no nanny to entertain them, no housekeeping staff, no personal chef, onslaughts of Japanese beetles, swimming in a lake instead of a temperature controlled private pool, and counselors who grew up poor.
Anyway, my bunk of kids were really very good despite their slightly-spoiled upbringing. My girls worked hard to pass their daily bunk inspection and nearly always won the “cleanest bunk award”. I made a deal with them that if they won this award “x-amount of times” then we could walk to the nearest pizza place (two miles away). This appeared to be incentive enough as my girls busted their behinds to win the weekly award.
The day arrived where their consistent victories would finally be rewarded. Armed with water, sunscreen and good footwear, we set out on our two-mile walk to get our pizza. About 1/2 way into it the girls started to lose their enthusiasm. The country air rung with cries of “Are we there yet?” and “My feet hurt!” I tried to make the walk in the country an adventure, but they weren’t buying it. Then, lo and behold, there was an animal up ahead in the dirt road. I immediately knew what it was since I’d grown up in a land fraught with agriculture. The girls, however, were terrified. As we drew closer, the animal strutted a bit quicker, its head darting back and forth making his bright red comb dance. Yes. It was a rooster. The girls completely lost their minds as we drew closer to the bizarre and exotic bird. And as we were passing by, the rooster seemed to sense their trepidation and exacerbated the situation by stirring up a little dust with his erratic movements. Screams sliced through the air. I explained that it was merely a rooster and he really wouldn’t hurt them at all. My girls had never seen such a thing. A rooster? What on earth is THAT?
It makes me wonder what their Fisher Price “See and Say” taught them? I have a feeling that while my version of the ‘See and Say” spouted phrases like “The Rooster says “COCKADOODLEDOO!”, that their “See and Say” stated “The taxi says “HONNNNKKK!'” or “The pedestrian says “I’m walking here!”.
Anyway, the girls were completely traumatized, which kicked up their speed a notch or two. We arrived at the pizza place in record time – covered with dust, dying of hunger, and a bit shaken from the encounter with the creepy farm animal – only to find out that the pizza place was closed. CLOSED? REALLY? This was back in the late 80’s, before everyone had a cell phone, so we were forced to walk all the way back. The girls were completely deflated. And overly cautious that a band of vicious roosters were gathering and waiting for us to pass through again.
We were able to make it back to the camp in time to enjoy the offerings of the cafeteria but the girls just didn’t have it in them to eat grilled cheese with their choice of tomato or tuna in the middle. I promised them that I would make good on the pizza. And while they didn’t find that particularly encouraging, I threw in that I would have it delivered directly to the camp and that we would have a massive pizza party and stay up late and toilet paper other bunks and have a silly string fight with the boy’s bunk of their choice.
I’m hoping that nearly 20 years later they’ve finally forgiven me. And maybe they think of me as they’re teaching their children about roosters. I can only hope.
Back to stars, Ben was recently featured on the Parents.com website for the story on Icing Smiles, the amazing non-profit that made Ben’s incredible Yoshi birthday cake happen. Check it out here: http://www.parents.com/blogs/goodyblog/2010/06/amazing-cakes-for-ailing-kids/ Ain’t he cute? He LOVED his cake and was sad to dismantle it. He wanted to keep it! I know his birthday wasn’t the best scenario, but so many people pulled together to make it special. I hope he’ll remember it fondly despite being away from home and going through un-fun cancer stuff.
Ben is also featured on Icing Smiles website at www.icingsmiles.org.
We’re back in Colorado now. We had a nice birthday party for Ben thanks to the Hoskins/Skogen family. They allowed us to come over and piggy back off a party they had earlier in the day. They had rented a bouncy house for their afternoon function so we were able to use it for Ben’s evening party. Mike Garcia, our dear friend from the Outback, came and brought lots of chicken and ribs. Ben played with his friends (and his new puppy, Yoshi). He had a great time.
This week we’re taking it easy. We finally heard from Ben’s treatment team yesterday and we are definitely going to start antibody therapy soon. So, we’ll start his round of shots here in Denver Â in preparation for him to receive the mouse antibodies in NYC. Madeline is most likely going to travel along this time since she is officially finished with Kindergarten. She’s excited to go to the big city.
I have a feeling that as she matures she’ll be more interested in the Stars on Broadway instead of the stars in the sky. But I sincerely hope she has an appreciation for the beautiful world God made for her.