but nostalgia aside, about today. i began pretty tired, having not slept much or well despite the fact that i left the gathering -- of ross, rebecca, dan shargell, alyssa, the elusive mark d'a., and the spectre of noam chomsky -- at a wise hour. food disagreed with my stomach, the result of nervousness perhaps as much as the lingering remnants of henry james, and i didn't participate in the often-hilarious quintessentially swattie conversation as much as i would have liked to have. in fact i felt distinctly unfunny. but i enjoyed the company, as i'd enjoyed the brunch earlier in the day, my other break from otherwise nonstop comotion prep, with ross, alyssa, and rebecca around that same table.
this morning we rose at 7, power-breakfasted as a group, paraded over to set up the space, putter and fidget and go over last minute details. at 9, finally, the girls arrived. i snapped pictures of each individually under the official co|motion banner and marveled at the range of heights. that, naturally, was to be the first of many marvellings at the range of personality, experiential, physical and character differences in the 10 year olds as opposed to the 13'ers. i don't think there could be another age bracket where the gaps are so glaring. fortunately everyone, so far, has been getting along.
it's just exhausting caring for kids. entertaining them, keeping energy levels up for their sakes, subduing ironic impulses, not to mention to actual activities and games. the final one, a scavenger hunt that sent us scampering around campus, wiped me out.
two girls latched onto me in the afternoon. one was a skinny, brainy girl with an attitude. the other i had mentally singled out early on, with no better recommendation than her redheadedness, as the kind of child i would like to have were i to decide to become the kind of person who has kids. with them i found myself gradually relaxing, allowing a natural ester-response now and then to slip out. they didn't seem shocked; they certainly didn't find someone else to run to. and in a way i haven't analyzed yet, it was comforting as well as flattering when the little redhead declared that she only wanted to scavenger hunt with me. don't expect a trite comment about seeing her hand slip from mine as she ran to her mother at the end of the day; but, to be fair, i have six more days of this.