Friday, August 21, 2009

Wild Nights!

After a truly awful day at work, I was not feeling reassured at all by the thought of J camping on Toronto Island with the threat of a storm coming on Thursday night. She was signed up for a Harborfront camp called "Beyond Outdoors" with her friend S. The plan was to canoe to the island (what?? how did I miss that when I read the camp description?), camp over night and canoe back the next day to the mainland.

Thursday day was moody but uneventful and the kids made it to the Island with no difficulties. J was on my mind and I couldn't shake my anxiety with the anticipation that it might be a bad night.

The torrential rain hit the city at about 7.30 pm. Lightening, intense winds, a complete downpour. Without J at home we have less incentive to cook. We had just zipped out to Square Boy on the Danforth for some souvlaki and Greek salad and got caught in the storm. We got drenched merely walking from the car to the restaurant.

I find my mother anxiety kicking in - I should have said no to the overnight camping I think. J and I had a silly fight when we dropped her off that morning at the bus and I didn't get a chance to kiss her goodbye. I hate mornings like that. It casts a pall on the whole day for me.

I call D, the mom of J's friend at the camp, who is also a good friend of mine.

Uh .. is there a contingency plan in case it rains, I ask timidly? Yes, she assures me. What about getting back to the mainland the next day? They are monitoring the weather and won't leave in the middle of storm obviously. D has spoken to the camp director herself which I probably should have done if I wasn't such a dope.
Luckily J calls moments later ... they are in the firehall and will spend the night there. They all sound cheerful and noisy and happy. Okay ... so that's good. Except now we are getting updates every 20 - 30 minutes from J's cell. Not so good ...

We are coming home ... we're staying ... we're coming home our gear is soaked ... we are taking the 10.15 ferry to the mainland.

R dutifully heads off to pick the girls up.

R calls, J calls ... we missed the ferry! By a minute mom, by a minute!! How will they get home? I don't know ... wait for another ferry maybe? When? I don't know ...

I get testy with R on the phone, he gets testy with me. After all, he is the one hanging around the dock for an hour. I'm at home in my warm jimjams merely biting my nails. I would like to say that he didn't hang up on me but actually he very politely did.
I'm a mother, get my kid off that island!! My system can't take that kind of stress. I am afraid of everything. Literally.
J calls back, we are waiting for a water taxi to pick us up. It's now eleven o'clock. Those poor counsellors, they deserve a medal for the night they are having. One idiotic mother who was contacted said she is not comfortable driving at night so the counsellors are compelled to take the child by subway up to Yonge and Lawrence. Un -f'ing - believable ... the sense of entitlement.

What about these poor kids who have to find a way to get everyone back home, forking over their own money to book water taxis, get back home and still come to work in the morning?

R and the girls straggle in at midnight - but the girls are happy and dirty and exhilarated. It's been an exciting night with the storm, being stranded on the island, the water taxis. They are glowing with their excitement.
Oy vey ...


Unknown said...

Palpitations just imagining it! I'm so glad everyone got home safely.

A Lit Chick said...

Yes ... but as I said J was completely excited and exhilarated by the whole experience!