I’ve had to pause for station identification, hence the long pause in posts. This past weekend the Guides went camping. Now it turned into a residential camp because of weather but 80% of the time was outside so I don’t feel we cheated too badly. The ground was soggy, muddy, icky, gushy and just plain nasty. The site staff wouldn’t let us set up for Friday night and quite frankly I was in no mood to set up and take down 9 tents for one night come Saturday. Having said that, here is a short list of what we did accomplish this weekend:
1. designed and decorated t-shirts and oven mitts with 21 girls
2. cooking: dump cake in a box oven, apple bisquick “crumble” in my dutch oven on the fire, sandwiches made on tin can stoves, armpit fudge, bisquick dogs over the fire and some camp stove meals lovingly prepared by three fog soaked adults.
3. two hour morning canoe instruction and spin around Cootes Paradise with wonderful girls who apparently have no sense of rhythm despite my lovely sing song shout of 1 and 2 and stick together please and don’t smack your friends paddle and 1 and 2 and watch which way we are going and 3 and 4 and holy crap will this ever end…. the last part was my inside voice so the girls didn’t hear that part.
4. geo-caching – 18 girls running around learning how to program a GPS, follow instructions and find success despite the staff person up and leaving the group high and dry for some kind of emergency that precluded her from sending replacement staff. I, thank goodness, had left this activity in the extremely capable hands of my co-leaders and two parents as I got the fire going and started baking in the box oven.
5. chickadee walk – relaxing walk down groomed trails where the girls got to see and feed chickadees and woodpeckers.
6. tear jerker of a campfire where I realized that the girls leading the campfire were leaving this year and that this was their LAST camping trip with me and their LAST campfire with me and their LAST year with me and OH MY GOD ! Wait a minute ! Are you telling me that the three years is done ? Are you telling me that I actually did it ? I, working with a variety of other leaders, got these girls through three years ?
This is where we fit in the title of the story dear readers as I promptly burst in to tears in front my unit, my co-leaders and the Brownies that were visiting with their leaders. Fabulous. On top of this, I’d had to send my daughter home with a fever who is one of the three girls finishing up this year and the reason I got in to Guiding in the first place. Argh.
For the rest of the weekend my eyes leaked at the most inopportune moments. I ended up at one point in the men’s bathroom (girls only weekend, not open to the public and quite frankly a bit nicer than the ladies) just sobbing. No way I was going to do that in front of my girls. I pulled it together, got everybody packing up and helped to supervise pick up. After everybody was gone, what did I do ? Oh yes – burst in to tears again ! For crying out loud – I am the same idiot who apologized for crying at my own dad’s funeral and here I am flooding my face with salt. Cripes.
Needless to say, for someone who does not like losing control at the best of times this was very disconcerting. The weekend was a success albeit a stressful one. Constant re-jigging of the situation, girls coming and going for other activities, meds to dispense last minute, homesickness from a few of the girls, etc. While I mulled this over, I did what I do best and shared my experience with some friends to get feedback. The best comment was, Well of course you were emotional. It was a very unstable weekend. I felt so much better ! Losing control like that makes things worse for me. Crying full on in public view is about as popular with me as dental work with no novacaine. To quote the erascable Gru from Despicable Me – Not Cool.
My good friend Leslie is not only a good friend but a co-leader and was with me this weekend. Sadly the unit loses her after this year but thankfully I do not lose her as a friend. She gave me an Irish quote that inspired the title of this post – The eyes are too close to the bladder. Now while we struggled with the quote and figured a goodly amount of whisky was probably involved when someone said it, it got me to thinking. The eyes are often described as the windows to the soul. That is not a place that I want anyone peeking around in. And I’m psychic so I know how to do that. When I cry in public, people are getting a glimpse of pieces of me that I really don’t like to show all that much or at least not to that degree. I am sensitive. I am passionate. I feel deeply. I’m sure they are aware of this already but to put it out there raw like that is very unnerving for me. So I took this quote and made it my own: my eyes are too close to my emotions. That is the problem. They are right between my heart and my head which do battle on a regular basis. Sometimes, in the crossfire, stuff leaks out and shows the world a piece of my soul.