Sunday, May 16, 2010

Science Camp!!!!! a.k.a. Or another way to kill Mothers

Last week was Science Camp for the 5th Graders or as we called it at my house: Mommy Melt-Down Week.

Dear God, it’s only Science Camp, right? Did it really require 17 “orientation” meetings? And did I mention the ridiculousLY extensive multi-store shopping requiring two full pages of check lists? Then the packing, labeling with sharpies (although I must say, I do love a chance to use a Sharpie), sealing of the hefty bags, etc, etc, etc, etc #etc?

Let me tell you, it was stressful because my 10 year old and my 7 year old have NEVER been away from each other. So the night before, of course there was melt down. Blondie’s not mine (for once).

Blondie, is a soft, gentle, shy kid with a really big heart and a passion for math and science. Otherwise, she would have stayed home, curled in the warm softness of the maternal bosom.

Except this kid REALLY (and oddly) loves Science.

So there we are the night before with Blondie out of her mind with a full blown anxiety attack -- her little face was all crumpled with sobbing, while she was clinging to me, wailing . . . “I really want to go but I can’t be away from my family.”

So there was lots of cheerleading (Ah no . . . there was no cute outfit, rather a very old nightie from JC Pennys) with pom poms (okay, there were no pom poms either, but I do have big boobs) and she finally got to sleep at 11:00 p.m., her little body shuddering with the exhaustive sobs.

And the next morning not only was she up, but she was packed and waiting at the door a full hour before we needed to leave the house. (God, if only she had the same attitude about picking up her crap that she had about being on time.)

Massive excitement at the school, me with the video cam, sleeping bags and pillows everywhere.

In the background of course was me begging the 5th grade teachers and authorities in charge to PLEASE take the 7 year old also, I would donate LOTS of money, but sadly, they just kept shaking their heads “no”.

Lots of hugs and kisses and “I love you’s” then the buses pulled out the parking lot.

Whoo Hoo!!! Whoo Hoo!!!

I just knew this marked a huge shift in our family.

This was a milestone event that was going to move us to a greater level of independence. For all of us. #damnit

Cuz the Little Sis was going to have to learn to sleep without her Big Sis in the top bunk. And Blondie was going to have to learn to sleep without LiL Sis in the bottom bunk.

And it was all going to be good, good, good.

Turned it was weird, weird, weird.

Cuz there was no contact. No cell phones, no phone calls.

So I worried. And I thought about her. And I was excited for her. And I missed her. And I had this weird feeling in my stomach that I’ve NEVER had before . . . I hurt with longing.

By Thursday, when I wanted to call the camp my husband said: Don’t be THAT Mom. (Really? Cuz, ah, I totally AM that Mom.) But I resisted.

So that night I started counting the hours until I could see her. And when I woke up at 6 am on Friday morning, my first thought was: 7 more hours. And I counted down.

I too was at the school an hour early. (It must be a familial trait, this obsession with earliness.)

When those kids came off the bus, I was so excited. (And slightly overwhelmed by the odor, but that’s another blog . . . you know, one called: My Smelly Tween.)

There was my little, red-faced, sweaty Blondie in my arms, hugging me hard.

And I was happy. And I was whole.

And I swore I would never yell at my kids or wish they were grown up and out of the house ever again.

I would treasure every moment we had together.

Ya, that lasted about a whole effing hour.

“Hello SleepAway Camp? Do you take 7 year olds? I’ll pay an “upcharge” . . .”


  1. Love it.

    A hundred million years ago, a few days after the earth's crust cooled, I went away to Boy Scout camp. I wrote a postcard home to my Mom saying I was miserable and wanted to come home NOW. My Mom, of course, was right there ready to rush up and get me. (2 hours away by car.) My Dad, with help from my Uncle Doug, talked her down and of course, by the end of camp, I was fine.

    Good call by you, but it wasn't an easy one. Few of them are.

  2. I was the same way when my girl went to her first week-long Girl Scout Camp. No phones, no contact, her one letter home arrived back after she did. I was a hot mess and the camp was only 30 minutes away!

    She did great. Now, she's 2.5 hours away at college... *sigh* it doesn't get any easier.

  3. I love this! I am sure I will have to refer back to this a few times in the next few years. Can you just write me a book: Life Lessons In Blog Format?

  4. I love it! I think those moments..the ones where you are so happy to have them back in your arms that you swear you will never loose your temper and will be perpetually patient are important for us! They never last very long but it's awesome to have that wonderful feeling!

    Did she have the time of her life??

  5. That will be me in September! My son will be going away for 4 days to Science Camp, and I am already hyper-ventilating! He went away over-night this year with the school and it was the longest 24 hours of my life! Can't even imagine 4 days! I know he will be fine, and that it is one of those right of passages that will get him to the next stage of independence. Thank God for wine and good girlfriends! I know I will need both this September!!

  6. Ah My Darlings! Michael - your comments always make me LMAO!

    And may I just say, we have found the experience so liberating, that both my girls are going to a week of Sleep Away CAMP! Dear Lord in Heaven, I wish it were today!!!

    The cocktails, the naked dancing, the fun I will have (who gives a shit about them!). xxx

  7. I didnt see a comment link for your vlog so Ill do it here. You make me so bummed that I had to miss the after party, darn family. I put my first vlog up a few weeks ago and am still not sure if I like it or not. By the way I am a martini lover too. My fav is the chocolate martini, yummmy. How did you get the words to come up on your screen in your video?

  8. Awww. How sweet. I'm sure my twins will be be the same. Will remember to refer here for instructions.


Tell me what ya think, babe!