I'm feeling ....
More to follow....
Diary written at Camp (continued) - Day Three - Wed. August 21st 2002
Wow. Absolutely NO time yesterday to write! I had planned to come to bed when the girls did, at 9.30 (although they don't have lights-out until 10) so that I could catch up on my diary without taking up time when I should be sleeping. But God had other plans. So that was that. And here I am today with unexpected free time (yay!) to catch up a bit. It's only 1.30pm and we had lunch and then had kite-making scheduled as a craft activity, but the girls are..... I don't know how to describe it..... We're still working out how they are settling and what their needs are.
They are  much less childlike than I had expected of 10 and 11 year olds. This makes me feel very out of touch or else like I must have forgotten how it feels to be that age. These are "little" girls I have known since most of them were four or five, and I have had no real contact with any of them for years. So I've not been noticing how they are growing up. I think of how many years old they are and somehow presume that they are just like when they were six, only taller and able to do more complicated games (!!). Wake up call! These "little loves" of mine are wearing sweet little starter bras and comparing deoderants and wanting to spend free-time off in their dormy, talking about who fancies who and boy bands.
I feel lots of things as a result of this discovery. I feel kind of sad that sweet innocent childhood is behind them and the hormones have kicked in for the long haul now. I'll miss them as little girls. But I also feel excited to watch them grow up. They are all lovely girls and I think they will make really precious teenagers and adults, even if they might be difficult in their teens. Hormones will do that for a girl. Anyway, it's a privilege to be here as an observer. But I also feel kind of envious. The most exciting part of life for me so far has been the stage they've just reached and the following few years. I often wish I could revisit my life in those years, and when I see the girls together being so free and girlie and stuff (!!), I feel like I wish I could join in, and I wish I was their age so they would accept me joining in. But I'm not, and I can't, so there we go. I've had my turn.
Well anyway, we decided to ask them if they wanted to make kites, rather than just calling them down and having them sit and do it as a structured activity. They said no. They are perfectly happy with their own idea, which is dressing up and putting on a play about the Rugrats. So we scrapped kite-making and let them get on with it.
Last night during their quiet time, the leaders met to pray about the evening meeting, and I had a picture in my head when I was praying. It was of the word "meeting" being written out, but when the pen went to cross the 't' and dot the 'i', it was like writing on plastic with a felt-tip pen, it just vanished every time, no matter how hard you tried to write it. The other leaders felt that this showed that the meeting would be in God's hands, that it was HIS plan and not up to us to cross every last 't' and dot every last 'i'. We didn't have to have everything perfectly planned and structured. We don't have everything prepared for the meetings anyway, so this encouraged us not to worry about that, and to be flexible.
So when the girls asked for free-time instead of kite-making, we felt the same way about it. They are really gelling (that word looks really weird written down but it really is the right spelling, honest!) as a group and don't seem to want or need much supervision. They are happy just being together, so we were happy enough to scrap kite-making. I'm really glad because that was one of my crafts! Hehe! I am glad of the free-time it gives me too.
So, back to yesterday! What a day! I  did get my period! How weird is that?!! So annoying too, because having my period really saps my energy and makes me feel nauseous and dizzy, and these things would go against my work at the camp this week. I only had a period two weeks ago. Since I was 12 I have never ever had a cycle so short, so I don't know what's up with that. But it would definitely explain the bad headache the day we travelled up here (my normal pre-period headache) and perhaps the severe nausea in the night that first night (see previous entry). I haven't had any more trouble with that since then which I'm really glad about. I did feel very yucky in the day and didn't want to eat breakfast, but Sandy got on my case and made me eat a kiwi fruit. She showed me how to peel and eat one with a teaspoon and the distraction helped me forget I was eating - that sounds weird but sometimes eating is a real battle with me, and distractions help. Sandy knows this so I guess this was her plan! I felt too queasy for lunch too, but I ate a sandwich later in the afternoon when I felt a bit better. So how weird that I have my period! It is very annoying. Still, it hasn't been too bad. The pain has been bearable with painkillers and often it isn't so I'm glad of that. Today I am not nearly so nauseous as I was yesterday, but I do feel awfully dizzy this afternoon. I felt kind of weird about it, but I had no choice - I had to beg some sanitary protection from Judith. She commented that it was just like Satan to throw something in my path like this to try and knock me. Isn't it just. Later that afternoon I walked to the chemist with Sandy and got some stuff to use. Stupid period. Pesky Satan.
The sun is out!!! Wow!! Yesterday it rained pretty much all day, and it was so cold. It has gone really noisy downstairs. I can hear everyone yelling about towels or something, so I think they are going down to the beach. They need to pick up large stones for stone-painting today anyway.
Yesterday morning after breakfast and the morning meeting and their free-time, we played some games indoors because of the weather. We did ice-breaker games to help them get to know each other, for the ones that did not know anybody. We did team games with balloons and some other games. Michael and me led the ice-breaker session, which lasted an hour or so. It was fun. I was kind of not meant to be getting energetically involved because I was tired from the new routine and the leaders were letting me take a back seat until I picked up a bit. But we played this game called "Fruit Basket", where you have 8 chairs and 9 people. You have the chairs in a circle and everyone sits in a chair except the 9th person who stands in the middle. Everyone has been given the name of a fruit (quietly so nobody else hears). A leader calls out two fruit names and they have to change seats as quick as possible, trying not to let the person in the middle grab a seat. The person in the middle, of course, has to try to get a seat. You can call as many fruits at once as you like, or if you say "Fruit basket!!" then everybody has to change seats. It became really fast and furious and Michael asked me if I'd like to sit in, so I did, and ended up playing for ages. The girls loved the game so much that they didn't want to play anything else, so we played until lunchtime. I got soooo hot and breathless! I am glad though, it was good for me. I have been so afraid of getting breathless or of pushing myself physically in any way, I don't know where this fear has crept up from. I know it stems from when I had M.E. but it is weird that I am even more scared of pushing myself now than when I was ill. That makes no sense. What am I afraid of?
Well anyway, here is a photo of me dashing for a chair (!!) during our game of Fruit Basket:
After lunch yesterday they all went to the beach with Paul and Michael, even though the weather was so bad. They were gone for two hours, which was really nice for Sandy, Judith and me, as we were preparing for the evening meeting. When they got home they were all utterly soaked. They had built sandcastles and defended them against the rising tide until they were finally forced off the beach! And I don't mean a bit wet, I mean soaked to their underwear and the roots of their hair. All their clothes - even their underwear - had to be rinsed and hung out!
They are now singing, "Why are we waaaaiting, we are suffocaaaating!" very loudly! I think they are keen to get to the beach. They are going swimming at the local leisure centre later on too - an exciting trip, because it has lots of water shutes! I'm not going to either, because I feel too tired and there are enough other leaders to cover it. They are outside now. From my window I can see them attacking the gravel path with their spades - hehe! Naughty girls! They are so lively and fun. They're probably just waiting for somebody to find a towel I should think. God has given me SUCH a mammoth portion of love for these girls. One or two of them can be really difficult burt I can't help loving them all so much.
I'm so dizzy. I am fine though, it's just my period. I think I need a break for now. I might find someone to pray with me if anyone is staying here. It is starting to make me feel yucky. Hopefully back again a bit later!
Cameron's first anniversary - 2004-09-24