Make Something New

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I have seen way too much of my kids since they went to camp a week and a half ago. I have been with them in the emergency room, the health clinic and the outdoor chapel.

Charlotte had some kind of panic attack/low blood sugar/migraine/mild seizure that landed her in the ER. Catherine had an ear infection. And Hayden popped out of a sea of navy blazers after the outdoor chapel service to beg me to get him his iTouch.

I was supposed to get away from kids and responsibilities when they went to camp. Instead, I am in need of a vacation from this vacation. I honestly can’t wait to get back to work.

Wait. Not quite yet.

I’m making art. I’m making something new. My first class was with Linda Kemp. It was about negative space painting, about painting the space behind what you see, and not what you see.

Maybe through making art, through finding something in the negative, I will find what I am missing. And it’s not the kids.

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Summer To Do List

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  1. Hold a baby
  2. Go to the IWWG (International Women’s Writing Guild) conference at Yale http://www.iwwg.org/2011-summer-conference
  3. Take art classes with my father and sister in Vermont  http://www.black-horse.com/PDF/Art%20Event%20Flyer%202010.pdf
  4. Take H. and his friends to 6 Flags for his birthday
  5. Continue to work hard and have passion for my day job
  6. Take family to Ocean Grove, NJ, Jones Beach, or Shelter Island over 4th of July weekend
  7. Keep writing every day
  8. Toes in the grass and picnics in Riverside Park as often as weather allows
  9. Get a mani-pedi
  10. Join Improv or comedy class
  11. Meet with agent again on book
  12. Revisit my young adult novel
  13. Read all books for book clubs
  14. Keep working out every day — tennis, Pilates, biking, or running
  15. Visit a church a day once kids go to camp
  16. Update my resume
  17. Get more help for Chris and household management
  18. Research joining a writer’s room or applying for writer-in-residence program
  19. Befriend new families in kids’ new Fall schools/classes
  20. Prepare kids well for camp
  21. Have a party while kids are at camp
  22. Replace or do something about annoying kitchen cabinets
  23. Eat more fish
  24. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  25. Comment on and read other blogs
  26. Tweet every day
  27. Do a reading of my work at least once a month
  28. Plan an international trip for me and the kids
  29. Get my bike tuned up
  30. Quit making lists
What’s on your Summer To Do list?

Kids at Camp=Freedom

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Every time I travel for work (or pleasure) I’ve left my darlings with my darling husband (DH). My DH has PD (Parkinson’s Disease) and so I’ve never felt a clear conscience about traveling. I worry. I have worries that they’ll be late to school — they are. I have worries that the house will be a mess when I return — it is. I have worries that they’ll stay up too late — they do.

So the idea of sending the kids to camp — of having people in charge of my kids who are not chronically ill or chronically worried — is a huge sigh of relief.

And it’s not like I’m sending them off to work the fields. These places are situated on beautiful lakes, with Arts n Crafts, horses, swimming, camp-outs, possibly S’Mores!

I have one child to drop off tomorrow. With the first two, I have felt like I’m shedding clothing on a hot day. Or dropping ballast from my hot-air balloon. Just briefly, I am traveling lighter. I am less worried, and yet, slightly untethered. The kids are my compass, their needs are always pointing my way.

They’ll only be gone a few weeks. In that time, I intend to stay late at work, work on my novel, http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/ , work out, http://runningaground.wordpress.com/ , throw a party, paint the dining room, get my financial house in order, get to a museum,  http://mybeautifulnewyork.wordpress.com/. If I can sneak in some Arts n Crafts time myself, I’ll be happy.