Last Sunday, The Man and I dropped our kids off at camp for a week. Wait, correction, we tried to eject them from the sunroof but the camp people frowned upon that….stupid camp people.
Anyway, this is certainly not like the camps I went to as a child. I have
fond nighmarish memories of going to day camp every day for two weeks. Sure we had fun, but not like this. My camp involved a :30 minute car ride with no AC and instead of the warm cookies we were greeted with upon dropping our kids off, I was greeted by an overheated, angry woman who immediately attacked me with some fluffy thing covered in sulfur so I wouldn’t get malaria from mosquitoes. And no, I’m not kidding. You should know that sulfur is very yellow and smells incredibly bad so by the time my parents picked me up at 5:00 for the ride home with no AC, I was sweaty, stinky and covered in yellow spots from head to toe. Also? I was a fat little kid with a boy haircut. Good times.
But I digress. When we started doing this sleep away camp seven years ago for Mr. C, I thought it would be easy peasy. Throw a few outfits in, some towels, swimsuits….viola! Good to go.
I was so wrong.
It starts with the car which must be decorated like so:
Please don’t even consider showing up sans decoration, not that it’s really a rule but you will get the side eye from other families arriving to camp.
Other things that must happen, though again, not totally required but strongly suggested therefore you will comply or spend the entire week worrying your child feels unloved:
- Care packages. Every. Freaking. Day. With love notes (which I don’t mind) and toys and candy (which I do).
- Theme nights. Every night is a party! And every night has a different theme kids! Themes included Cowgirls and Ninja’s, Mission Impossible, Tron vs. Avatar and “You Glow Girl”. The best one was “Unlikely Hero Night” which had the suggestion to send your child dressed as…wait for it…a Panda. Yes, really.
- Extra care packages. Haven’t spoiled your child enough or you have a hole burning in your pocket for the money to get out? You can also send these special camp themed gifts for a nominal contribution. No. Just no.
The only thing that saved me here was Miss Debbie, our summer babysitter, who is also a kick ass teacher. Had it not been for her, I would have put myself into one of their very well decorated trunks with a bottle of wine and stayed there for the remainder of all my days on this earth.
But then comes the time when you get the notes they write to you from camp telling you how much fun they are having, how much they love you. Only problem here, I didn’t get those notes. This is the first one from Mr. C:
“Dear Mom + Dad: Things are not perfect, but okay. Not everyone here is really nice but that’s okay. I miss you and love you both. Mr. C”
Seriously? I almost came unglued. Here I am stuck at home with no way to talk to him. So I did what any respectable parent of a 12 year old boy would do and decided he needed to learn to deal…I was not going to call and I was not going to freak out. And I managed to pull it off by remembering the hell camp I had to go to versus where my kids get to hang out. Got it rough? Try getting assaulted with a sulfer puff, then you can talk to me.
In the end, it all turned out well. He became friends with everyone in his cabin and had a good time and thanked me profusely for the experience when we picked him up. For two days now, I’ve been hearing stories and listening to cabin cheers. Miss G was equally happy and now refuses to take off the one thing I made for her….her Cowgirl hat:
Truth be told, I missed my not so little babies while they were gone.
Check back with me mid week though, I might have changed my thinking.