Tuesday, September 5

The Empire Strikes Back

My husband and I sat down one fine day
To tell our son we had something to say
We braced ourselves and as gently as we could
Explained his summer plans until he understood
We could see he got the gist when his eyes turned damp
“Oh, so you are abandoning me to sleep away camp?”
We thought we had clarified it well enough- when
He asked us, “Why can’t I go to day camp- again?”

And so the summer came quicker than we thought
It was time to see the fruits of the battle we fought
“I’m going to HATE it” he said as we dropped him off
“Oh, come on- give it a chance!” I answered with a scoff
And so I left my son in camp with a long backwards wave
My stomach dropped with the sorrowful look that he gave
Actually I really thought he’d be fine as soon as I left
I tried as hard as I could not to think of him bereft

But then the phone calls started the very next morn
With every word he said my soul felt absolutely torn
“I HATE IT HERE!” my son said in utmost haste
“What a stupid camp, so expensive- what a waste!”
To which I responded, “You didn’t even give it a whole day!”
“What’s the use”, he said, “tomorrow I’ll feel the same way!”
And so he did, everyday pleading to come back home
He had a long list of complaints on that he’d moan:

The food was so bad -my son said with a flourish
All junk food- so he was becoming malnourished
The portions of this bad food were so big and large
That he said he was now roughly the size of a barge
There’s no security so my son’s scared for his very life
Anyone can come into the bunkhouse with an axe or a knife
They do the laundry so bad that everything shrinks
And they don’t use detergent so everything stinks
The sports are so dangerous- balls flying everywhere
But his counsellor hates him, he doesn’t even care
The learning groups were boring my son to tears
What was one hour of learning to him felt like years
The worst was how they kept him up late every night
Now he has black under his eyes-it just wasn’t right!

Every single day when I would hang up the phone
I’d picture my poor baby abandoned and all alone
I felt horribly guilty and wretched like no other
And felt I must be the worlds worst mother
I sent him packages and everyday would hope
Would he finally enjoy being at camp? ...nope
Because the phone calls- they kept on coming
Reminding me of how my son was slumming
With all his talk about days left ‘til liberation day’
I felt like I had sent him to Guantanamo Bay
I walked around everyday feeling like dreck
I couldn’t even smile because I was such a wreck

Then camp visiting day had finally arrived
And we were to visit the son we had deprived
We arrived at visiting day- my Hubby and I
And then our beloved son I tried hard to spy
But as hard as we tried neither of us just could find
A fat tired kid with shrunken clothes or his kind
Instead I saw my boy- healthy, tan, well rested and lean
And his clothes looked like they fit and they were clean!
I tried to take this all in but it took me a while
When I recalled what he had told- to reconcile

But the most puzzling was what his counsellor said
And this is the bit that really messed up my head
He said, “I’m telling you Mrs. Kasamba, this is all true
He’s smiling and happy when he gets off the phone with you!
I don’t know exactly what your son told you last
But your son is having AN ABSOLUTE BLAST!”
And then I saw him laughing with his new friends- my son
The boy who made me feel like dirt- was HAVING FUN!!!

I could not believe I could have been THAT wrong
I may be blonde but I’m not dumb- at least not for long
In this crazy world there are just so many fools
I didn’t want to one of them so I changed the rules
Now that I had this new information- this new fact
I decided to try a different more challenging tact
So for the second part of camp when I answered his call
I only said, “Miss you, love you, no time to talk at all!”

Soon it was over- my son had stuck it out!
He said he wouldn’t return he had no doubt
But I didn’t start to beg nor did I start to plead
Instead I turned to him and wholeheartedly agreed
No”, I said, “that camp you went to is no good”
And he looked at me in shock- as I knew he would
Don’t worry!” I elucidated, “That camp is history!”
(By now he looked as thrilled as thrilled could be)
“I found all your complaints so utterly reprehensible
So I found you a camp that is much more sensible!

It’s called Camp Shrecklach and it offers so much
It exactly suited for you with just the right touch
Since your stomach is sensitive- junk food makes you sick
There they only serve whole grain foods – all organic!
And where your other camps security was so very dire
This camp is surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire
There about the laundry you don’t have to quiver
There you do your own laundry down by the river!
In this camp there are no dangerous sports- nothing taxing
Instead they have therapy groups which are far more relaxing!
Your counsellor won’t hate you- they’re trained in Pai-Wan
This is a form of brotherly bonding created in Taiwan
But the best part is the learning, it’s not boring in any way
In fact Uncle Moishe sings the lessons for four hours a day!
And since to go to sleep every night you can’t wait
Don’t worry- at Camp Shrecklach its lights out at eight!
For this perfect camp I had to search high and low
You’ll be so happy at this new camp- I just know!”

Well by now all the colour had drained from his face
Actually” he said “my camp wasn’t such a bad place…”
He then told me the camps good points and explained
That he didn’t really mean it when he had complained!
“Are you sure?” I asked him “Because you were so sad”
He answered “No I promise Ma, it wasn’t even so bad!”

That whole sorry long saga happened only last year
This summer he shipped off to camp with nary a tear
So to all mothers and fathers out there I say ‘stay strong!’
Your kids will put you through hoops to prove you wrong
Always remember there is absolutely nothing to discuss
It has always been and will always be ‘them against us’

But just let me leave you readers with the final score
My son might have won the battle- but I won the war!


At 12:19 PM, Blogger notahottie said...

lol now i'm REALLY happy you're back! the only super long posts i can handle reading are yours and swfm's!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Scraps said...

LOL!!! You had me rolling there!

I have to say, when I was miserable at camp, I was truly miserable...when I was happy, my parents never heard from me. ;-)

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

Bravo! And you didn't have to call in the reinforcements. Kids-- they never surprise me.

Mine swore they hated camping, but they accidently let it slip that they wanted to go. It wasn't so bad. I love it when we catch them -- all I want to do is say "hah! I knew it!" Little stinkers. Why can't they just admit they like something?

Maybe they just need the Cat in the Hat to break out some Green Eggs and Ham?

At 3:04 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

lol hilarious!


At 3:10 PM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

OH MY GAWD!!!You are unbelievable...that was hysterical, and clever, and please have this published! (oh, maybe you just did!)

At 3:12 PM, Blogger TRW said...

Hello mudda, hello fadda,
Here I am at Camp Granada...
Mudda, fadda kindly disregard this letter!

Your version is much better :)

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Nemo said...

Do your kids know you do this?

How embarrassing must it be to have the blogger mommy?

At 3:34 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

I'm so honoured!

Then you were kind to your parents!

They are little stinkers aren't they?
BTW- I love green eggs and (imitation) ham!


*Blush! ta!

LOL! I was actually going to call it 'Revenge of the Mudda'!

It's true. I have taken the 'embarassing mother' thing into the new millenium.
The only kid of mine that reads this is Asparagus.
the rest think I'm normal.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

hey , i was gonna sing the camp grenada song!
Kas you're a scream and a half
all he needed was a bit of love......

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

Hello muddah, hello faddah
Here I am at Camp Granada
Camp is very entertaining
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.

I went hiking with Joe Spivy
He developed poison ivy
You remember Leonard Skinner
He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators
And the head coach wants no sissies
So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.

How I don't want this should scare ya
But my bunkmate has malaria
You remember Jeffrey Hardy
They're about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh muddah, faddah
Take me home, I hate Granada
Don't leave me out in the forest where
I might get eaten by a bear.
Take me home I promise I will not make noise
Or mess the house with other boys.
Oh please don't make me stay
I've been here one whole day.

Dearest faddah, darling muddah,
How's my precious little bruddah
Let me come home, if you miss me
I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me.

Wait a minute, it's stopped hailing.
Guys are swimming, guys are sailing
Playing baseball, gee that's better
Muddah, faddah kindly disregard this letter.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

Oh Loord!!
That was great!!!
love you, miss you, no time to talk!!
(call me! lol)

At 5:13 PM, Blogger southernyid said...

Welcome back. Every time I was in Monsey this summer I looked for you to tel you how much I enjoy your blog but since I do not who you are I could not find you.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

lol good one.
prefer country yossi's version of camp granada to the real thing

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Such a cute a story :)

At 6:46 AM, Blogger HanginUp said...

I say let the kids stay home - send ME to camp!!

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

This was SO great!!! I think I did the same thing in the begining of camp. Crying to come home. But once I got those nosh packages in the mail I was the schtickiest kid there and happy and didn't want to come home.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

kas 1
son 0

sounds like a soccer score..

I always loved camp..back when I was in camp..we only got to call once a week...if we wanted..
and the forced postcard of course..

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

looong, but cool.
What a vocabulary ka aine horah!
I always hated camp, on the phone as well as on visitng day(was there such a thing back then?)

At 4:54 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Haha great story thanks.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger calmsoul said...

hi kasamba, I wanted to email you but somehow couldnt connect to ur email, thanks for what you wrote, I sure hope he is out there , wish i knew where though.;).....i love you posts , theyre written with such humer and character , isnt it amaizng what you could pick up about a person by the way they write?..

all the best

At 12:49 AM, Blogger the sabra said...

walla it WAS worth it to read the whole thing! see sabra, sometimes it pays to listen to a mommy (helps that ur not mine?)

as usual, twas funny, good rhymin, great life lesson and useful cooking tip all in one! (err scratch the cookin tip..i forgot asparagus was your child)

At 10:31 AM, Blogger student said...

glad to see we're getting bak into the swing of things after summer 'break?!?!' and that was top form Kas- so i think that makes it 2nil to u!!
u just keep winning wars!!

At 12:25 PM, Blogger THECOLDMAN said...


At 2:35 PM, Blogger tafka PP said...

Yay, she's back all right! This is classic. Camp Shrecklach is a work of genius!

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Mia said...

This was hilarious and so well written! I always loved camp and couldn´t wait to get there. We had no visiting days and I hardly ever called home :D

At 4:27 AM, Blogger workingema said...

So this is the poem you told me about... aha!
It was worth the wait!! and now, I'm trying the poem/rhyme thingy out.... so far....not so good, but hey, I need time, right?
oh- and, never believe your kids. take it with a grain of salt... or maybe a whole shaker full?:)

At 5:26 PM, Blogger A Frum Idealist said...

:-) it is great to have you back.

funny stuff.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

That's quite a voice you got there!

Of course!!!!

You couldn't find me????
But I was in Sammys bagels every morning!!!!

OOOh- I never heard his version!

Great idea- only if you take me with you!

Eshet chayil:
Thank you so much!!!!
That's what those nosh packages are for- the ultimate in bribery!

Why thank you!!!

Takeh, it does sound like a soccer score!!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Thnks but you also hate camp???


thanks sweetie!
Can you tell I'm totally nuts?

Thanks for sticking with it!

You're great morale!

You like the learning huh???
Glad you liked camp at least!

Dahling-thanks for noticing!!!!!

ta so much!
You must have gone to a really good camp!

This is it!

A Frum Idealist:
Great to be back!


At 11:48 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

Just wanted to say 'Hi' and welcome to blogland!
Isn't Kas the funniest?
btw - what's with all the CAP letters? :D
Have fun!
See ya around!

At 2:47 AM, Blogger Chasidishe Shaigitz said...

Kasamba strikes again :) Awesome post, had me rolling on the floor!

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