Camp/Vacation/Respite/Time Out/Relief

     Tomorrow we will drive Yelena to Maine for 3-1/2 weeks at camp. This is a milestone that I wasn't sure was going to happen this year. It was touch and go for awhile but then my husband and I sat down and decided that no matter what was happening with her, we would do everything we could to try to get her to camp. We are almost there...

     Looking back on the past few months: there were 6 days in the ER over Memorial Day weekend, then two weeks at a very mediocre in-patient hospital program, two weeks of a partial hospital program, graduation from 8th grade and then a total of 3 days that she went to school for the past month or so. She has been spending her days from 9 am to 9 pm at the public library.

     I happen to love libraries. I spent a large part of my childhood at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library looking at books. Yelena spends her days there on the computer going back and forth between a mind boggling mixture of Disney, anime, music videos and pornography. I went to check on her the other day and I asked the reference librarian what he would do if he saw a child in the library watching pornography. He said that he would do nothing. I asked if that was the official policy and he said that he didn't know what the policy was.  I asked to speak to his supervisor. I ended up speaking to a lovely woman who used to be a librarian in the children's room and has known Yelena for years. She said that the policy of the library was not to turn a blind eye to children doing potentially dangerous things on a computer and she would definitely go up to Yelena if she saw her watching something inappropriate and tell her that it was inappropriate. She said that she would find the exact wording of their policy and send an email out to all employees.

     Part of the reason that Yelena has refused to go back to school is because she said that it wasn't any fun. Did someone say high school was supposed to be fun??? Also, the therapist that she has had at school for the past three years and who she has been very close to, has decided to retire and told Yelena that her second day there. When I suggested that she might want to go to school to see Dr. M., Yelena said that she never wanted to see her again for the rest of her life and then proceeded to get very close to a tantrum on the subject. I think the strength of her reaction only belies exactly how hurt she is about losing Dr. M. This loss and the transition from middle school to high school has just about done us all in. Had I known that she would not be going to school, I would have sent her to camp for the entire summer. Hindsight is 20/20.

   I am thinking however, about planning a pleasant day with my husband after we drop Yelena at camp. I would like to explore an area we have never been before: find a new beach, lie on the sand for a few hours, a lobster roll, a beer, a swim in the ocean. Relax. Together. Just two of us.