Posts Tagged ‘Whitney Museum of American Art’

Letter From Camp

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I'm happy to have Amy Howorth as a guest blogger today. Check out her blog, WiredElvis (a blog about a mom and her adventures in a wired world that still needs Elvis…) I love Amy's style and her humor. Check out this post and you'll become a fan, too!

Would
it kill them? To send me a little card saying that they are alive?
Other campers must be sending their parents letters. Maybe essays,
maybe line drawings that will someday be the basis for their college
applications:

"Dear Harvard, while
most children ignored their parents entirely while at summer camp, I
made these whimsical drawings to illustrate my contemplative time in
the forest. They are now hanging in the Whitney Museum, but are also
on my Facebook page for your reference…"

No,
my sons are out of touch. Trapped, for  all I know, under a fallen tree
that I have not heard fall. I cursed them the other day while talking
to my mother via the land line (my cell doesn't work at my house.  It's
like I'm camping…). "Mom, I have sent them something every day!
Cute cards! Magazines! Candy! And I get nothing."

Amused silence at
the other end of the phone. I know it is amused, because when she is
pissed and silent, she has usually hung up the phone. "Amy, that's
what you did when you went away to camp. I sent you TONS OF CARDS AND
YOU NEVER ONCE SENT ME ANYTHING."

By the way, the all caps are not a
typo. My 83-year-old mother is talking in all caps. 


Now
it is me who is silent. This cannot be. For one, I am a girl. Girls
are more communicative. Secondly, I remember getting her cards. In fact,
I have saved every one of those cards, and surely I would have sent some
little note back. Surely, I knew how it made me feel and I would have
wanted her to feel the same way.

But,
sadly no. I was 10, 11, 12. About the age of my youngest
now. And pre-teens are spectacularly self-centered. And they are
supposed to be. I was receiving those letters, my animal brain
rationalized, because I should. Because it was my right. Because my
mother loved me. And she never made me feel like there was anything
expected in return. And I didn't disappoint her in that.  

So,
I am grateful that my mom helped me rethink my position. They are just
being kids. Having a great time at camp. Away from their hovering
mother. They are doing exactly what they should be doing. I will keep
sending letters without any expectation of a reply. Because that is
exactly what I should be doing.

And
then, improbably enough, I receive a letter from camp. My youngest
telling me "thanks for sending me the letters mom. It made me feel
loved." My son wrote that. To me.  

And now I am the happy camper.