Later, gator

Summer is camp time.  Working at a camp is a tremendous amount of work, since pretty much a whole semester is crammed into the span of five days.  It makes for some serious physical and emotional exhaustion, especially when two of those camps happen during the same week. Fortunately, most of the camps in which I am involved only last a week, so after an intense burst of too many kids in one place that leaves me overwhelmed and drained, I can walk away and return to a relatively relaxed schedule.

One of my favorite camps I work at is ballet camp, which has spanned the better part of the summer. Cute little kids in tights and leotards, aged seven to thirteen, come in for the better part of the day to dance, stretch, do arts and crafts, and prepare a mini ballet to perform at the end of the week.  My part of the camp is to play piano for the 90-minute class they take first thing in the morning.

Over the course of the week, that class becomes shorter and shorter, as the teacher realizes that the ballet they are preparing is nowhere near ready and the kids need more time to rehearse.  That is a-okay with me, because I can leave early and have some extra time to myself.  Yesterday, class ended after only 45 minutes, with the announcement that an “emergency rehearsal” was needed.  Sweet deal.

As it turns out, those kids (and the teacher) are really sneaky.  You see, today was my last day of playing for ballet camp, because tomorrow I will be skipping town forever.  So, the sweet little darlings spent their rehearsal time making me goodbye cards, ornately decorated with pipe cleaners, glitter and every color from the crayon box, which were presented to me at the end of class today with quite a bit of dramatic flair from the lone boy in the class.

Amongst many wishes of “congratulations,” “good luck” and “we’ll miss you,” some of them touted my pianistic abilities, as well as their own:

“I play the piano too, and if I’m lucky I will become as good of a player that you are.”

“P.S. I play the piano to. (sic)  P.P.S. Don’t you like to play the piano?”

“Thank you so much for being the best piano player!  You rock at it!”

“You are an amazing piano player.  Nobody can match up to you.”

I can’t argue with that.

Still others were more heartfelt, and actually brought tears to my eyes:

“We will miss you very much but knowing you are happy makes me feel warm.”

But this one, penned by the tiniest girl in the class, an adorable little girl with blond hair in pigtails whose height barely reaches my belly button, was probably the funniest, yet the most profound:

“You will really miss us.”

You know, I really will.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Megan
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 15:36:36

    “We will miss you very much but knowing you are happy makes me feel warm.”

    Life doesn’t get much sweeter!


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