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It Happened to Me: My First Half of Vacation

Rivkah Small

In the last 20 minutes, my plans for the next three months had turned upside down. How do things happen so quickly? The time I broke my arm, it took me weeks to get over not just the pain, but the shock of one minute being on my bike, cheerfully pedaling along, and the next minute being on the ground, my arm pinned under me at a strange angle. I felt a similar sense of shock now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

illustration of child Twenty minutes ago, I had been happy about my summer plans: a job as a counselor in a four-year-old day camp for first half, and in a sleepaway camp for second half. I had grabbed the four-year-old day camp job when I heard about it before Pesach, because the year before, I had got stuck with two-year-olds. I did not want to get stuck again. Besides, I knew that the people running the day camp were the laid-back and not the hard-to-please types. It was within walking distance from my house, and from other points of interest in town, such as the ice cream store and the dollar store. And it was a well-paid job.

If it was all that great, why, you may ask, had it been so easy for a 13-year-old girl to get hired? Because it wasn’t a high-profile place. In fact, in the meantime, only six girls had signed up. There would be no color war, bunks, or cheers. I would run a lot of arts and crafts involving egg cartons while my mind was busy making a list of things to pack for second half in camp.

When they had called me offering the job, I had put the phone on mute and ran downstairs to ask my older brother his opinion. He was half under his bed cleaning for Pesach at the time. The concise answer that emerged from under the box spring was “You snooze — you lose.” And then a resounding sneeze. I did not want to lose. I took the phone off “mute,” answered, “Thanks so much — looking forward.” I felt happy. It is a very contented feeling to have plans in place.

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