The camp was in the Big Bend area, not far from Fort Davis. My boy came home tired and dirty and hot...it was regularly 109 degrees F down there. And very happy about his successful week.
He completed these merit badges while at camp:
For horsemanship, he had to learn the parts of the horse, the names of the tack, how to groom the horse, muck the stall, feed the horse, and care for and put on the tack, as well as riding. He had to get up at 5 AM and muck and feed before eating his own breakfast. What a great lesson in responsibility for other living things! In swimming he learned water safety, as well as getting advanced instruction in free-style (crawl), backstroke, sidestroke, and breaststroke. For riflery and archery, he had to demonstrate care of the weapon, and safety, as well as marksmanship. He had written tests to complete for each badge, before he rode, got in the water, or used the weapons. He learned that if he was to complete all four badges, he had to use his free time for practicing the skills he was learning. What a great learning experience. And he had great fun and came home with a great sense of accomplishment.
N. will be home all day today and tomorrow, and then he will be flying to Chicago on Tuesday for a three-week visit with my parents, sisters and their children. He is really looking forward to spending a lot of time having fun with his cousins!
And that led me to a frantic search today for his birth certificate! We need to get him a state ID so that he can negotiate the airports and get through security by himself.
And you know how it is...I knew right where all of the legal documents were--in the old house! I ventured into the cave of Bruce's office. Because I knew the documets were in the file cabinet in Bruce's office. No dice. I looked again. Still not there. I found a copy ofour marriage certificate stuck in a very interesting set of documents...but that's a different story.
Then I asked MLC:
Me: "Didn't I give you your birth certificate when you applied for your passport?"
MLC: "Yep. You got it right out of the file cabinet and handed it to me."
Me: "Which file cabinet?"
MLC: "It was about "yea" high (she gestured) and white. You went right to it."
Me: "Where was the file cabinet? Was it in this house?"
MLC: "Yep. You went right to it and handed it to me."
So I went out to the garage. Our garage should park three cars. Our two cars are parked outdoors while all three bays are full of boxes, half-opened containers with the contents leaking out, empty boxes, and the flotsam and jetsam of the move. The one we made last year.
Ahem! Embararrasing, isn't it?
So I went out to the garage--well shod in case I step on a lizard--and climbed over the Christmas lights the previous owner left on the house that we took down because we don't use them; the ones that were deposited between the refrigerator and the stack of astronomy stuff boxes. The file cabinet was next to N.'s old desk, and a stack of boxes of yet-to-be-unpacked books was square in front of the drawers. I moved those boxes, after first clearing away some of the other stuff sitting there to make room--and opened the top drawer of the file cabinet.
I frantically moved the box in front of the bottom drawer.
MLC, opening the garage door: "By the way, Mom, you took the file to put it somewhere safe and accessible."
Me: "WONDERFUL! I wonder where THAT would be?"
MLC: "Try your office."
Hmmm. I cleaned my office before Pesach. I looked in the obvious place--the small file box near my desk. I found:
- The expired warranty on my 5-year old Focus
- Pay stubs from my teaching job at Rio Rancho High dated 2000.
- Blank greeting cards for all occasions.
- NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE!
OY! Vey iz mir!
I looked in every notebook on my bookshelf. No dice.
Then I opened the closet in my office. I had put several boxes of photos and mementos on the shelf. So I got the step-ladder. And brought down the first box. It was full of photographs. I pulled out a few: Counter-clockwise from bottom left: MLC taken 20 years ago, one of N. and his friend Jon-Jon, from 1998. A photo of MLC and N taken in 1995. And one of our cat, Binky, when he could fit into the palm of your hand, taken back in 2002. NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
I went through another box that contained my high school diploma, and among other such stuff, my ex's high school diploma. No file!
Finally, I pulled down a box labeled: Hebrew Teaching. And textbooks and my notes for teaching were on top. Then I found files of papers such as "The Lonely Man of Faith" by Soleveitchik. I found copies of Rosh Chodesh Services and Women's Seder Services I had written in the 1990's. And then, toward the bottom, I found my legal papers. Below that were the papers for the purchase of my first house in 1999. And, at the very bottom, a file labeled in red sharpie: IMPORTANT! RE-FILE AT ONCE! THIS MEANS YOU-E! Love, E.
You guessed it. It contains my birth certificate, the children's birth certificates, our original marriage certificate, and all of the other seldom-used-but-very-important-when-needed documents of life.
Later, as Bruce and I were eating some lunch, N. wandered in.
"Did you find it?" he asked.
"N., I am not sure you were actually born," I teased him.
He stuck his tongue out at me. "Where was it?" he asked.
O.K. maybe I should follow my own, capitalized, exclaimation-pointed, written -n-red instructions with love to myself.
Bruce is out in the garage now--tidying up a bit. Ya gotta love that guy!
And it's nice to find all-but-forgotten pictures.
I guess I know what I can occupy my lonely days with while N. is in Illinois.
The papers? I've got them somewhere safe and accessible until I need them tomorrow.