July 28, 2015

No Job for a Woman?

A few minutes ago I was rolling out a pie crust for Cabin 7, and I was thinking about how life takes such strange turns. In 1971 I was studying cooking at the Cordon Bleu school of cooking in Paris. I kind of thought I’d be a chef when/if I grew up. I knew I wasn’t going to be a camp director because my father had unequivocally stated that it was no job for a woman and no man would ever follow me to camp.

So I became a journalist. It was a great run for 20 years. But soon after Mara was born in 1985 I began itching to come home. When I was pregnant with Max in 1989 the itch became a full-on ache. I longed to come home, and home was camp.

Coming home to camp in June 1989 with a three-year-old and a newborn was about the worst timing imaginable. But Leon followed me here, which made the impossible possible.

Now that Max and Mara are adults and we run camp together, along with Mara’s partner Josh, I feel grateful every day that my father was wrong, Thus IS a job for a woman. I know this because in my heart I feel that every single camper is my child. As the “summer mom” of every child here, I cherish them, I delight in their every triumph, their growth and their victories. I worry about their boo-boos and celebrate their triumphs.

Something about being a mother gave me that perspective…and then there’s that pie that’s in the oven now. Cabin 7 heard about the pie I baked for Cabin 9, so today they picked a quart of berries too. And this is how life takes strange turns, and how everything you learn comes in handy. At the Cordon Bleu all those years ago they taught us to make a pie crust without looking at a recipe. This must have been so today I can throw together flour and butter and sugar and salt and roll out a pie crust without thinking.

It’s all in a day’s work for a camp director.



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