The campers are on their flight home. I’m back in Bodega. Paulie
starts his senior year tomorrow. And another summer has come and
gone. Let me fill you in on yesterday’s activities.
First you should know, it was a serious road trip. I did the google
multiple directions thing and then handed the printout over to Jul,
CAB’s transportation counselor, and she was unbelievable. The several
U turns you may hear about were the result of operator error; the
navigator was flawless. First stop was Johnny Cs’ crib (get it?) in
Martinez. That’s what we might be calling little John Cesar. His
dad’s idea. If i have to give up Joe Leonard, I guess I can live with
Johnny Cs. So, usually when you visit the home of a 5 day old, you
expect things to be a little crusty. Not in this case (well, except
for some campers). Everyone was practically shining and there was a
lovely Continental breakfast for us. Abuela Teresa (Lena’s mom) is
there to help keep things running smoothly, but seriously, people. I
mean, really! And the baby. He’s movie star quality. Slept sweetly
the whole time. Did really cute things with his hands (which are
ginormous!!!). Let all sorts of people hold him. I think he is a
born camper; he knew he was among his own. We got to see the so-
called G-rated version of the birthing pictures. I question the
rating system. Campers may be scarred for life. Since we were on a
tight schedule, we couldn’t linger. We had to check in at the indoor
sky diving place by noon.
Got there no sweat. Did our flight class with Tony from Princeton.
We did a little east coast bonding. Learned the hand signals he’d be
using in the flight tunnel (they turn out to be useless, but we didn’t
know that then so we paid careful attention). We like the relax one
and the keep your chin up. Useful in life, if not in indoor flying.
Then got into our flight suits (rocked them), etc and entered the
tunnel. Jul and I were less than thrilled by this point. James held
my hand, which really helped. We were in a group of about 10 flyers.
Everyone gets 2 one-minute flights. When you’re in there, that minute
seems much longer. Much, much longer. As usual, i didn’t know what
the heck i was doing and mostly focused on not being completely
embarrassing. It’s not as easy as it looks (yes, both the not being
embarrassing and the flying). It’s so freaking windy you can’t
breathe right. Tony didn’t mention that. Plus, you fly up into the
tunnel, out of sight range, heading out toward the roof, Willie Wonka
style. Also not mentioned in flight class. Sometimes your belly hits
the floor. Not mentioned. After my first flight, I was trying to
give my second flight away to a camper. But we had ear plugs and
helmets on, so communication was more difficult than usual. We all
survived the flights. The campers feel like they improved on their
second flight. I can’t honestly say that for myself. There is a DVD,
titled Air CAB, which you can view and judge for yourselves. On the
walk over to In and Out, we discussed whether it was fun. Some of us
said it was. Some called it “an experience.” I floated the idea that
it’s good to do things that scare you, so you know you can overcome
fear and be okay. Campers agreed. We wax quite philosophical at
CAB. A few days ago we discussed Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism. Look
it up. Came out of watching the Jake Gyllenhall movie, Source Code.
After calming our nerves at In and Out, we piled back into the Volvo
and Jul got us to our hotel near the airport. Ah, TV at last. It was
the season finale of Teen Wolf, which was quite the cathartic
experience for Gray and Mich. We also watched the X Men movie. I
bailed on that and went down to the bar for a glass of wine. Dinner
was mediocre Chinese. How is that possible, San Francisco? Everyone
got a good night’s sleep. We were up at 6, ate breakfast, checked out
and made our way to the airport. Sending them through security on
their own is hard, but Jul had the situation under control. Mich was
good enough to text me the location of my car in the airport garage as
well as a reminder that I put the parking ticket in the cup holder.
She worries about her Aunt Betsy. She also sent me a picture of James
giving a thumbs up in the window seat. He fought hard not to be in
the middle again. He’s finding his voice.
On my drive home this morning I was thinking about all of us, and how
lucky we are. Having the love and support we do can’t protect us from
the struggles that life inevitably sends our way, but it definitely
makes it easier to come through in one piece. I am so grateful to be
a part of it.
CAB 2011. Over and out.