Friday, July 19, 2013

Pamper Your Camper with Words

As previously mentioned, having kids away at camp has created a daily pressure to find something to say to them in letters or emails. My goal is always to make them smile. I remember getting letters at camp. The happiest moment was often when the letter was handed to me by the counselor, but then there could be a slight let-down when reading the actual text. Because, let's face it, these weren't love letters. These were mundane ditties from the parents, who were leading their regular old boring lives. (Mom, don't you worry, I LOVED your letters, with nary a Finast visit omitted).

I've tried to amuse my girls with a few lines of rhyming poetry here and there. I offer here a sampling in memory of David Rakoff, whose new rhyming novel I can't wait to read, and Shel Silverstein, whose poems I associate with both childhood and (for some reason), summer. [For those of you in search of meter or rhyme violations, let me just reiterate that these poems were written for an 8- and 10-year old audience.]

So what in camp is fun to do? 
Is there anything that this year is new? 
In all of the pictures you look so delighted. 
There's so much, I see, that makes you excited. 
The summer back home has been somewhat boring. 
Perhaps Lou and I will do some exploring.
Today we will try a different new playground, 
Louisa will climb and slide and run around. 
Daddy's been watching the Tour de France all day. 
It's his favorite event, what can I say? 
Lots of love to you from your dad and your mommy. 
On visiting day, should I bring some pastrami?

I hope today at camp is fun 
And that you will often laugh and run 
Remember when it's time to jump in the lake 
Cold water will help to keep you awake 
If the food isn't yummy, at least it's nutritious 
If the food is great, then say, "wow, delicious!" 
Listen to your counselors, have fun with your friends 
Before you know it, the summer will end. 

I'll see you in less than a week! 
can't wait to squeeze your cheeks! 
I'm glad you love camp, 
Even though it is damp, 
And they don't serve steak or leeks.

When it's hot in camp, here's how to stay cool 
Sorry, but you can't go swim in the pool 
Stand by the mist-er and jump in the lake 
Stay in the shade, for your own sake! 
Eat lots of ice-pops 
And wear your new flip-flops 
Don't think about the heat 
And summer will be sweet!

Soon it will be Shabbat 
Remember to rest a lot 
While you are praying, 
Know soon you'll be playing 
With all those great friends you've got.

Camp is almost done. 
I know that you had fun! 
When you get back 
I'll help you unpack
And hugs? I'll give you a ton. 

It's hard to believe that Ruby is coming home on Sunday. She wrote me a poem in a recent letter:
Camp is great, I'm having fun.
I'm seeing lots of sun!
I've been here for three weeks.
I don't have much more to seek!
I miss home very much.
Are you bored and such?
Then she wrote: "Like my poem? I'm not as good as you! Your the best Poet I know!" (Take that, meter monitors!)

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