Thursday night, I picked up the phone and called my Mom to check in on her and hear her vaccine story. She opened with, “I didn’t have nearly the problems with my appointment like I keep hearing about. The Walgreens site crashed with my first attempt so I just called them the next day and this nice lady told me my best bet was to try and book the appointment around midnight. So that’s what I did! It was so organized when we got there! I was really impressed!” She went on to tell me about her friends who had sore arms and how they were in a rush to get their’s and she was relaxed, in no hurry. She was hopeful that once all her friends had their vaccines, maybe they’d be able to get together to play cards! “We haven’t seen each other in so long!”
When she was done talking, she asked me “So how’s school?” I explained that we were full in now and that kids were so excited to see each other. Some of these kids, like you mom, haven’t seen their friends in almost a year. I told her the story of Delia who was not in the same cohort at Maddy and now that we were full in, she’d get to see her again. Her face lit up with thought of seeing Maddy, being together with her, looking her in the eyes.
Friday morning, I went to an 8:30 camp. I wondered if the Rooster Crew was missing me. I made my way to an x and claimed my box. I looked around to see familiar faces. Some I knew better than others. But that’s the thing about Burn, you can go to any camp and know and feel you belong. Alyssa’s voice boomed through the room “Can I get two claps! Campers, you’ve got four minutes…” I was looking at Alyssa when out of the corner of my eye, I saw two people come in. I immediately recognized Trish and then I saw who was right behind her. Alyssa’s voice faded. My heart raced. I stood in my box, on my x, frozen for a split second then I started jumping and waving waiting for her response. No response. Suddenly, I found myself leaping and pouncing across the floor like Tiger on his tail. Then, there we were, standing face to face, eye to eye, for the first time in almost a year. “I can’t believe you’re here!” “I can’t believe YOU are here!” “I want to hug you. I want to hug you.” We leaned in quickly for a head turned away quick shoulder hug.
For the next 45 minutes, Jackie stayed in her box and I stayed in mine. Periodically, we paused, not only to catch our breath, but to simply look at each other…in the eye.