Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sleep away Camp. This one’s for Mommy

My kids are 10, Blondie and 7, Glowie. I have been dying for a break from them for about . . . 10 years. We’ve had a weekend away here and there, but never a week.

A week without my children is the stuff my sweet dreams are made of!

So I call around and find a sleepaway camp that will take 7 year olds along with our 10 year old. And off we go, in May, to spend a day there, with the kids, to check it out.

Ah, a little piece of yummy in the mountains. A lake, ATV’s, paintball, riflery, archery, roller blading, water skiing, ropes courses, well the list goes on. And on – cuz it’s that kind of place. (I believe they refer to it as HEAVEN!)

On the day of the orientation Glowie asks me if we could just leave her right then. Forget the rest of first grade – she was READY for camp now!

So we cancel our family trip to San Diego and start the enrollment process. You know: the forms, the questions, the medical documentation. And I do all of it without a complaint. Cuz I’m getting a flipping week off!!!

The big day comes, the duffel bags are packed, the checklists have been checked and rechecked (no reason not to take my hyper-anal behavior at home and apply it to camp). Everyone is in the car.

For once, we let Glowie just chat and chat and chat about all the fun she’s going to have, the friends she’s going to make, how late she is going to stay up, and the freedom she is going to have. (You just keep talking Baby – cuz Mama is counting down to her freedom too!)

Blondie is quiet, cuz she is shy and this is harder for her.

In we sweep: there is music playing and dozens and dozens of excited and amazing camp counselors greeting us and ushering us through the process.

We walk them down to the lake, set them up for some lunch, meet some more kids and counselors.

Ah, Blondie really doesn’t want us to go. Glowie however flips her hand up at me and says: Mom – shoo! Goodbye.

I’ve waited 10 years for this day. As we walk back up to the car (everything is hills in this camp – get me out of here!) I keep sneaking peeks back. Glowie is holding court and Blondie is holding her head down.

I am sick. Sick I tell you, to leave my kids at camp.

We drive away while I weep (not so gently).

And I spend the rest of the afternoon of my “vacation” with an incredible sick feeling in my stomach. Is this what the empty nest feels like? Cuz I’m miserable. If I feel like this for the whole week, it is going to suck.

And I’m totally rethinking that whole “commitment” to college thing. Maybe they should just stay home.

Then I have the first of many, many naps. Then I have the first of (well) many, many cocktails.

Then I log onto the camp website and see the pictures of them, laughing, eyes sparkling, having so much fun.

And I feel better. Now THIS is the vacation I dreamed about.


  1. This may help, it may not.

    A billion years ago, I went to Boy Scout Camp for a week. Hated it at first. Wrote and mailed a tear stained postcard that said I hated it and wanted to come home NOW. Mother was sorely tempted to drive right up there and bring me back. (I am the oldest-thus, this had not happened to her before.) Father and Uncle managed to talk her out of it. I stayed, and wound up having a great time.

    It will be fine.

    Have a drink on me.

  2. I cried the first year I dropped my oldest off. I cried the second year because the youngest went too. After that, it was the best two weeks off every year. Then came the year that the oldest was too "cool" for camp. Year after, it was the youngest's turn to be too "cool". No more two week vacation for Mommy! Enjoy it while you got it - especially those COCKTAILS!

  3. Michael - LOVE IT! Yes, my 10 yo really missed us, but still had a great time. The 7 yo? She asked if she could go for 15 weeks next year!!!

    Stephanie - I will totally bask in this moment. The thought that they would be too cool for camp - I can't bear it!!! xxx Dee Dee


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