Friday, July 13, 2007


OC in the pool at her grandma's house in Boise last month:

OC is at day camp this week, half days. It's yoga and tai chi week, with Friday being water fun day. Otherwise known as "Maybe We Will But Then Again Maybe We Won't Get Sunscreen on Your Kid" day.

The last water fun day, OC came home with a bad sunburn. Not blistery, but bad enough to hurt. There was crying, and a mother's heart broke into pieces and she felt murderous. It's horrible to see your child suffer from ANYTHING, much less something which is preventable and at the hands of people paid to supervise and protect them during what is supposed to be a safe, fun week at camp.

Today, as I slathered her with sunscreen in the yard of the camp - while she watched the other kids play - I talked to her camp counselor, who was telling me how careful they were about using lots of sunscreen. I wondered if she knew it would only work if it was applied to the actual children and not to, say, a nearby plant? Not because I think she is stupid, but because if they are using so much sunscreen I wondered where it went if not on the children. At least, it didn't seem to get on my child.

"Really?" I said. "Last time OC was here she got a sunburn. I have sunscreen here that needs to be reapplied since she'll be in the water. I would really appreciate it if you would make sure that she got an second application."

I wanted to call her names and yell and scream, because who can stand it when inept people are in charge of your children? But, we are nice here in the Northwest and yelling and screaming is something we only do anonymously and in the safety of our cars at other drivers who have no idea we're doing it. After all, they could shoot us or something.

* * * * * * * *

One day last week we went for a hike on the South Sister. The trail we took actually ended at the top of the mountain.

South Sister = 10,358 ft. elevation

The hike up the South Sister was pretty, but kinda steep. We did not go all the way to the top, stopping 2.5 miles from it. That would've meant an extra five miles on the already pretty long hike. (Look at me! Doing math and everything.) On the way back I felt like a horse on its way back to the feed trough...all sprightly and ready to go! We had talked about stopping at Cascade Lakes brewpub for a late lunch and a beer and I am all about stopping for lunches and beers.

Back on the mountain we met this woman who was running with her dog up the mountain. Yep, she was running. I called her a nut when she was out of earshot, because I'm polite like that. The dog was sooo energetic, too. We ran into her again on the way down as she was passing us because she was still running, and the dog was flipping out and excited both times. You would think his energy would have gotten used up by the time we saw them coming down, but no, no. Maybe he knew he was going to the equivalent of lunch and a beer, in which case, I can relate.

I still don't see how you can run up a mountain. Not only is it a mountain, but it is slippery. I got a minor - but it bled - scratch from tripping over a rock the size of a golf ball (there should be warning signs for that danger!) so I don't know how she managed not to fall. There was snow, too which felt like a blast of air conditioning when the breeze blew off the snow and onto our hot bodies. You'd think it would be cooler up there but it was pretty hot.

Speaking of hot, it is fire season and I live in the high desert. Granted, I live in town, but it is still a town in the high desert with wind and fire. I am not used to it. But, they had to "defend the town of Burns" recently from nearby wildfires. That doesn't do much for my feeling of security. I guess I feel vulnerable even though I know it would take a lot for a fire to get to and burn my house. The smoke nearby would be scary. One highway over the mountain pass has a sign that says Fire Interpretive Area. A wildfire blazed through the area a few years ago, and now there is an area you can go to read about what happened. I have never stopped, but I wonder, just what is on that sign? Fire burn hot lots trees dead. The end.) I mean, what? I should stop sometime just to find out.


Lady M said...

Yoga and tai chi at summer camp? Wow, that's much cooler than the making-potholders and stringing-beads camp activities that I remember.

Kristen said...

that picture makes ME want to hike. Sorry about the sunscreen debacle. The Boy came home the other day from the Babysitter's house white as can be except for a red spot at the bottom of his back. not bad for a girl from Western New York. I may have shown her how he HAS TO HAVE SUNSCREEN IN HIS HAIR, which she thought was odd.

Occidental Girl said...

It turns out the yoga/tai chi week lasted for two days, because the instructor failed to show up. Great! They had fun anyway, but I thought that was crappy.

Yes, I know, sunscreen everywhere please! OC did not get burnt on the last water fun day, thank goodness!