In reality, I wasn't actually with 5,000 wild-and-wacky teenagers at Falls Creek Youth Camp. My daughter was. She tended to a cabin full of middle school girls, including my fourteen year-old-granddaughter (her niece). However, while she was overseeing those bundle of hormone-packed gals, I did my level best to entertain her two little girls, Haylee, 7, and Kinsey, 5, and my son's 10 year-old daughter, Abby. I don't know whose job was harder, my daughter with twenty-five girls, or me with three. Let's face it, my daughter is 21 years younger than I am. Her camp provided trained leaders and mulitple activities to wear down those girls each day. I didn't have that luxury. No tag-team helpers here.
From 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., I had three needy little girls with multi-level attention spans who think Grama is one, endless thrill-packed, summer-camp powered with Ever-ready Bunny energy. A 10-year-old tween doesn't require the same activities to amuse her as a 5 year-old kindergartener. Yet, a five-year-old little girl thinks she should be allowed to do the same things as her ten-year-old cousin. The ten-year-old is not giddy with suffering through less tweenish activites of playing "petshop" and "Barbie dolls". My mind scrambled for age-neutral activities to keep all three elated. Not easy. (I discovered if I bribed the tween with cash, she'd play dolls under slave-labor laws with her two younger cousins.)
Midweek, my tween granddaughter wanted her mom to drive up from Texas for lunch. She didn't want to go home, mind you; she was having too much fun with movies, shopping trips, swimming, cupcake making, crafts, games and bribe money. However, she was homesick to see Mommy. A Wednesday Chick-fa-Le lunch at Lawton Mall, and an hour of shopping with Mommy soothed that situation. Afterwards, Abby was content to join her cousins again at the play-ground and let Mommy go back to Texas. By now, my body refused to cooperate with my mental relief. I knew I needed a trip to the chiropractor, but it was not happening. I was grateful the girls didn't want to go to the water-park; the triple digits temps and 120% humidity stuffed my lungs with air so thick, I could barely breathe when I walked to the car. I dumped plans to go to Mt. Scott the moment the "promised" cold-front detoured far north of Oklahoma.
Come Thursday, my brain cramped up and I couldn't think of a thing to dispel their boredom and keep their minds off their missing mommies. Gramas are suppose to be wizards, magicians, and craft-enthusiasts, all of which, I once was--before: Before the disks in my back deteriorated. Before my knees became mush after walking once around the mall. Before I moved all my craft supplies out of my house. Before I needed a cane to keep my balance. Thankfully, on Thursday, they opted for a movie marathon day at the Mall. We saw Madagascar 3, then came out and went to Claire's to waste the half-hour intermission till Spiderman 3D began. Hubby met us for Asian cuisine afterwards, for my "no-cooking" supper at Cafe Court. Woo-hoo!!
Friday we went to Hobby Lobby and chose beads for necklaces, and material to make Barbie dresses. After dinner out (Yes, again. It's worth it not to have to stand and cook three different meals for three different appetites and tastes), we broke out the scissors, needles, and thread. Have you ever, simultaneously, helped a 5, and 7 year-old make necklaces while teaching a 10-year old how to sew a seam in a pair of jeans to make a purse? Me neither. Looking back on the entire experience, I still don't know how I did it. It's a blur in my mind. Somehow, I think that's probably a good thing. A very good thing.