Summer is underway. Or, underfoot – like gophers, snakes and sewer lines. Summer conjures visions of swimming pools, s’mores and two of the most beautiful words to fall on this mother’s ears: Summer Camp.
Two of my plucky ducks are enrolled in one (glorious) week of summer camp. Coordinated drop-offs at 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.. Pick-ups at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – Oh, pardon me, I was just doing the shopping cart and the sprinkler at the same time because, guess what? Two kids. Gone. ALL day. Summer camp isn’t just a fun-filled romp for the kids, it’s a silky smooth slice of sanity saver sprayed with sunscreen and wrapped in maccaroni art.
I was hell bent on sending the two older children to camp this year; even if I had to sell a kidney or my soul. All year, summer camp shone like a guiding beacon of hope and truth with the back lit faces of other mothers insisting on its necessity; guiding me as I pinched my pennies for the “Save Mom’s Sanity Summer Fund”. I pinched. I tucked away. I made some hard cuts. Like balancing a federal budget, I knew some of the luxuries had to go if I was going to make CampForce One fly. Months of drinking crappy store brand burnt beans. A little here. A little there. I turned wine into water and then took the money I normally use to buy wine and put it towards camp. Voila, a summer miracle.
Last night, the anticipation was palpable. One more day until summer camp. ONE MORE DAY! On my top secret countdown chart, I could finally make that last strike-through and pop open the bottle of cheap-ass bubbly. A week of 50% less children. A week of 50% less fighting over apple cores, mismatched socks and who flushed who’s waste down the toilet. A week of running errands without an unload and load procedure mimicking the evacuation of the Titanic. Summer Camp, they are your problem now.
As I settled in for my camp coma, I noticed the giant stacks of paperwork provided by camp administration:
“HI! Welcome to Summer Camp!” Ok, good start. I’m totally hooked. Where is this letter going? Somewhere exciting, I bet.
“We are so looking forward to playing with your children!” I’m glad someone is.
“Here’s a helpful list of what you should bring!” Whatever it is you need, camp…I’m gonna give it to you. I’m gonna give it to you good.
And, that is all it took. A little packing. A little penny pinching. A little hopin’ and wishin’ and dreamin’ and forced sobriety. Today, at 9:00 a.m., I became 50% less likely to be heard screaming, “STOP PUSHING YOUR SISTER’S FACE INTO HER YOGURT!” and 50% less likely to go produce postal in the local supermarket. “Glen, clean up in produce. The corn….the sweet, sweet corn. It’s. It’s everywhere. The horror!”
When I picked them up, they were pink cheeked; eyes half mast. The smell of sunscreen, chlorine, glue, bliss and exhaustion meltdown was in the air. I have made a good decision. But…OHHHHHH….those su-uhhhh-meeerrrrrr CAAAAAAAAAAA-AAAAAHHHHMPS (tell me more, tell me more-ohhh-ohhh-ore).
Long live Summer Camp. A grateful Mom Nation salutes you.
|Camp Crystal Lake made me sign all sorts of crazy waivers. Weird.|