July 29, 2008

News of "the Arm"

Consider this: Jeff's summer camp offers unlimited one-way emailing AND the camp website posts at least two hundred photographs daily, plus a daily newsletter. When I first heard about these services, I scoffed. My parents got a few letters during my annual camp stay and they never complained!

My derision has come back to haunt me. I have become a web junkie, eagerly checking the site every afternoon to view the pictures. The same faces, day after day. I feel like I know those kids, but none of the photos are of MY KID.

I did not expect Jeff to write home. I supplied him with four self-addressed, stamped postcards to fulfill the weekly letter-writing obligation. Two are addressed to me and two to his brother. Not only that, but I composed the text, too, so that he would only have to fill in the blanks for such statements as "My counselor's name is __________." "My favorite camp activity is _________." None were sent.

Judging from the camp website, it appears that Jeff has spent his entire time hiding. There are lots of pictures of cheerful girls with their arms around each other. Younger boys are mugging for the camera. Older boys are shooting hoops or playing softball or tennis. There are pictures of pottery-making, tie-dyeing, Israeli dancing, singing, sports, boating, dramatics, theme days. Jeff is conspicuously absent. I knew he had arrived when I saw the photo of his arm taken on the first day but there has been no news since then.

Yesterday, I had worked myself into such a lather that I actually considered phoning camp, when I came upon a new photo of Jeff, in profile, playing frisbee. I calmed down a bit. At least, I know he is still there.

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