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Camp Mom

July 11, 2011

I do this thing with my kids during the summer. I call it “Camp Mom.” It’s in lieu of spending oodles of money on summer activities. Instead, I set a theme for a week and we do activities around that theme.

So far we’ve done Vacation Bible School Week, Pirate Week, Mom is puking so do whatever you want as long as it’s quiet week, and “You kids have no TV all week” week.  Camp mom involves a lot of sleeping late and watching movies and playing Wii. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get Graham out of his pajamas.

I look at it as a lesson in “Be” as opposed to “Do.” I also look at it as a lesson in self-direction, and I look at it as an opportunity to force my children to clean up after themselves.

It’s Harry Potter Week around here this week. We’ve been watching Harry Potter I – VII in preparation for Friday’s movie premier of the final installment in the Harry Potter epic and, yes, I do have tickets.

My kids have been wearing their Harry Potter costumes and blasting each other (and the dog) with drinking-straw wands and spells in Latin. They ask, “What’s the spell for …” and usually I remember it from the books, but when they get creative, I remember enough Latin from high school and college to provide a suitable command. On the day of the premier, I’m going to surprise them with wall art decals from the Hogwarts Houses — Graham has a Gryffindor shield, Georgia a Ravenclaw one, Chris has Hufflepuff and I have Slytherin.

So far so good.

This afternoon, Graham asked, “Can we play with the Castillos?” The Castillos are toys like Legos, only they’re Spanish, not Danish, so they are much less well engineered but infinitely more artistic: when you make a castle with the Castillos, it looks like a castle. They’re also 35 years old and no longer manufactured. They were mine when I was a kid, and when I got cancer and my mother was desperate for anything that might help me survive, I mentioned to her that I’d really like the Castillos, that they would put me into a healthy cancer fighting mindset. I really did use cancer as a means to weasel the Castillos out of my own mother– there’s a prior post on this blog about me being in Slytherin, and the Castillos are evidence of it.

The Castillos are the best toy in my house, and they’re mine, and my kids know that.

I told Graham he could use the dining room table to build castles. Both kids have been at it all day, building on their own version of Hogwarts. It’s pretty awesome.

Today, I had something to do that I really had to finish, but tomorrow, in between errands and loads of laundry, I’m planning on spending it building castles on the table.

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4 Comments
  1. Mary Knapp permalink

    Castillos!

    We bought the first two boxes at Uncle Eric’s Happy Town, later on a third box, and then they were no more.

    A few years later, we saw them at a toy store in Seville, and used our prized vacation money on them. They kept the two of you happy for a few days in the pension in Viseu while Morrie and I had some peace and quiet.

    Then, we saw them at a fancy toy store in Williamsburg, Virginia….by this time they were even more expensive, but we spent the Williamsburg vacation money on them.

    That was the end of the acquisitions, but there were many hours of building by you and your friends in high school, and I think even one year the Yale boys spent spring break making castles in the Florida room. You and your brothers played with them well into adulthood on visits home.

    I was happy to give them to you during the cancer battle and even happier that the next generation is building.

    Andale!!

  2. alisha permalink

    Fabulous!!!! Nothing more to say 🙂

  3. Sam permalink

    Loved the castillos — especially when combined with other building toys to prove that wooden train sets are not something for small children alone.
    They can be found now on ebay, but talk about pricey….

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