Friday, August 3, 2012

Hitting it out of the park

Last night's presentation at Camp All-American was beyond what I could have ever imagined. Not only did Harleigh and I keep it together (although a physical display of emotion didn't totally escape our talks; both of us had a few lip-quivering moments), but we told our stories straight from our hearts, speaking to the crowd as if we were sitting around our living room with the closest of friends.  (In reality, the crowd had just finished a sit-down dinner and so when we spoke to them, all were seated at their dinner tables; I felt like I was talking from the stage at the Golden Globe Awards.) Our talk was all about what brought us to camp 13 years ago and what effects it's had on us as individuals and as a family. We focused on the single-parent, single-parent child aspect of it all. We touched on some very personal things that were a bit heavy, but also managed to tie in some humor.

I did well, but Harleigh was phenomenal. While my talk was completely written out and on a music stand in front of me for reference (and I did manage to only glance at it every so often, but not distractingly so), Harleigh's aids were an index card with six words written on it and her phone (so she could keep the time and not go over her allotted 6 minutes). She was so eloquent, and the dear girl connected to everyone with a rawness that I, at that age, could have never done. This crowd was in large part her peers; that to me is tougher than strangers, because these people know you. To have spoken with such vulnerability was commendable. I couldn't have been more proud.

She ended our talk with a prayer, and with my head bowed, I could feel the snot dripping toward my nostrils (I guess that's where the tears go when you're holding them back from gushing out your eyeballs). I should be happy for only an emotion-fueled runny nose.  The bottom line is that I didn't want a video of my talk to come up on YouTube when someone googles "woman poop public speaking." We all know those videos on YouTube never go away — they only move to the "Recommended" sidebar to live for a lifetime.

I came home on a high. She came home wondering if she did well (self-perception can be such the jester, can't it?) and already anticipating the last day of summer camp (today) with dread, as surely the tears will come this afternoon when assembly lets out, and campers, counselors, and fellow leaders hold each other in bear-hug goodbyes, bidding farewell to what has been a summer they will never forget.

As a thank you to her counselors, she asked that I swing by Trader Joe's and pick up flowers. Rather than her hand out bouquets (which I never know will make it to water or not by day's end), I opted to create small bouquets in Ball jars I had on hand. $42 of flowers became 10 individual vases of flowers. I then took the plastic from the bouquets (this plastic is open on the bottom, but most places that sell flowers also have the plastic wrap cone that has a closed bottom that works even better; I had a mix of both), and put it around each jar and cut the top of the plastic just above the height of the flowers. The arrangements were put into a box, easy to carry into camp, and with the plastic the flowers won't be knocked and broken.


Gretchen said...

I know you did great and I'm sure Harleigh was terrific. Why can our kids do that but not us? Beautiful gifts for the counselors!

Christine said...

Ahhh...well done!
Grace and beauty, a mother daughter act.

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