I dropped my older girls at sleep away camp. “I can’t believe I won’t see you guys for 7 weeks!”
“Mom, it’s only 3 weeks. And we come home on the weekends.”
“Is that the camp we chose?! Huh. Okay, well, I’m still sad. What am I going to do with myself?”
Well, you have three other kids, a part time job and you’re going up north for the week.”
“Wow. It’s a wonder I even had time to drop you at camp!”
I brought my 11 year old to her bunk and then got my 9 year old settled in hers. I kissed her goodbye. Her eyes filled with tears. Which of course made my eyes fill with tears. She looked at the room of girls she didn’t know yet. And she pleaded with me to stay just a little bit longer.
And then it was time. The counselor was herding them out the door to start a full day of activities. They’re in the circus program which I’m reasonably sure doesn’t involve lions or anything. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the camp emails all that thoroughly.
Wear sunscreen, I beg, as a I back out the door.
Don’t borrow anyone’s hair stuff no matter how amazing it is!
Miss me so much but not too much but just enough so that you are missing me but having fun while you’re missing me.
Don’t forget to write today so we’ll actually get it before you’re home for the weekend.
You have to reapply the sunscreen! Not just put it on once and then forget about it. This is Florida. Please remember!!
And then it’s really time.
I say goodbye and walk back to my car.
When you have a baby, you can never get a breath. But then those babies grow and you start to realize, parenthood isn’t about saying hello. Not at all. It’s really about saying goodbye. For preschool, for camp, for school, for a sleepover, for college.
Letting kids go when they are ready to go.
Even if it’s just for five days until they’re home again.
My 6 year old has been sobbing for days. She didn’t want her big sisters to leave.
But I promised her, soon we will be saying hello.
This past year my 3rd grader made her first best friend. She’s had close friends before but this was her first “I must talk to you all the time and after we hang up, I call you right back because there is one more really important thing I need to tell you.”
The kind of friend where you absolutely buy one of those heart necklaces that say BFF and each friend wears a half of the heart.
To read the rest of this post, please click on over to Alpha Mom.
It’s camp time. Camp is awesome. Mostly because I’ve never had a kid come home from camp and say, “I have a book report on the monkey bars and dodge ball due tomorrow” or “I have an exam in hanging out and playing with my friends that I haven’t yet studied for and I also need to build a diorama tonight.”
The pressure is off. I really only care about 4 things when it comes to camp.
- Cost. (I like cheap.)
- No technology. (Because if my kid is going to stare at an iPhone all day, I can do that at home for even cheaper!)
- Sunscreen. (It needs to be applied. At some point. Before camp is over.)
- Lice. (I don’t want it. My kids don’t want it. If you’ve ever hit rock bottom in your life, lice will actually take you lower. Way lower.)
My kid did once get lice at camp. I’m sure the fact that she was wearing every other girls’ headband, hat, hairbands, barrettes and bows had a little something to do with it.
And if regular old lice isn’t depressing enough, now there is apparently super lice which is sadly not super at all. In fact, the idea of it can make a parent who is about to send their kid off to camp very panicky indeed.
Which is why I partnered with Vamousse. If your kid picks up these pesky critters at camp, Vamousse lice treatment kills lice and eggs in one 15 minute treatment, is non toxic (which is very important to me) and is effective on pesticide resistant super lice. And the mousse is super easy to apply…
And a lice free kid is a happy kid.
Vamousse also has a daily non toxic shampoo that defends against lice when used for 10-14 days following a potential exposure. So seriously, skip your kid’s regular daily shampoo and throw Vamousse lice defense in their sleep-away bag this summer.
And don’t forget to give your kids a lice check before they head off to camp. Since lice can be present way before they start itching.
And now I feel itchy.
And you feel itchy.
But hopefully our kids won’t be itchy this summer.
This post is sponsored by Vamousse. All ideas are my own.
I’m pretty confident I could never make it as a dance mom. All three of my girls have taken dance at different times but none of them have passionately thrown themselves into it the way some kids do.
I know children have packed afternoons with jazz, tap and ballet. Their closets are jammed with glittery recital outfits. Dance really is their life. But my girls have floated in and out of this world.
This past school year, my daughter decided to take acrodance. It’s some kind of combination of acrobatics and dance which seemed like a good fit for her. Plus the monthly fee was reasonable and there was a recital at the end. Perfect.
But I started to feel like I must be in some kind of hidden camera show about ridiculous dance fees because they kept asking for more and more money.
First, the costume fee. Which I expected would be laced with precious gems based on the price. Then the recital fees. Then I still had to buy additional tickets at the price of $27.50 each. (Out of principle, I refused to buy one for my 3 year old son because his appreciation for dance is the same as his appreciation for nap time.)
In total, I spent — . I have no idea how much I spent!! I refused to add it up. Especially because by the end, my kid wasn’t exactly brimming with enthusiasm. She kept saying, “I can’t wait for the recital to be over, so I can just be on summer vacation.”
But I was still excited to see her perform. And to witness that very expensive recital outfit glittering on the big stage.
And then a friend said to me, “You know the recital is four hours, right?”
Look at the number of performances…
It ended up being 3 hours and 45 minutes.
I loved watching my daughter for 2 1/2 minutes of that 3 hours and 45 minutes.
And many of the other performances were adorable. And some were really impressive. These kids could dance!
But I spent a good chuck of the time in the lobby watching my 3 year old open and shut a stage door.
And here’s the thing. You can’t leave early. They don’t want the place emptying out before it’s finished, so they hold your kid hostage until the end. A few parents retrieved their children early because they had a bar mitzvah or other engagement but most of us were completely trapped.
Once the final curtain fell, I clapped exuberantly.
And a short 20 minutes later, I finally got my kid back.
So proud of her. So proud of me for surviving. So proud of my 3 year old for not pinching his finger in that stage door. Really hoping we can take a break from dance.
This is an emotional time of year.
Kids are graduating, everyone is saying good bye for the summer, children suddenly seem older and you realize that very soon, your kids will be staring at you ALL DAY.
On the upside, you finally don’t care if they bring a bread sandwich to school for lunch (that’s bread with nothing inside) with a side of chips and a side of pretzels and a side of goldfish.
I hope these kids are getting enough carbs.
My twins just graduated. I can’t believe they are already heading off to college.
(You know what? Someone just informed me that my twins only graduated form Kindergarten and aren’t eligible for college. I’m going to do some investigating.)
The teachers told the kindergarteners that they were allowed to go home with their parents after the graduation ceremony.
THE GRADUATION CEREMONY ENDED AT 9:30 AM.
No one was going home with me. I told my twins they would have the good fortune of staying for the whole day which they found distressing. Umm… children, you are playing with your friends, not memorizing the Gettysburg Address. Although I’m totally find if that’s on the agenda too.
Maybe my first kid could have convinced me to take her home. Certainly not the 3rd and 4th.
I have a lot of camp on the horizon for my children.
My older daughters don’t want to spend the whole summer in camp because they need “down time.” First of all, camp is downtime. Second, there is plenty of downtime after camp. And third, my kids don’t even know what to do with downtime.
Every time I tell them to put the phones away and do something creative that does not involve a screen, they look at me blankly.
But eventually my girls take out the gel pens and those cool coloring books that have been sweeping the nation and get to work. And my son Chase takes out his nerf gun to fight pirates and foes and unsuspecting glassware on the counters.
During the last week of school, I try not to think too much about the passage of time. I try not to get misty eyed at the sad country songs accompanying graduation slide shows. I try not to think that time keeps moving until one day these kids will really kiss me goodbye and head off on their own lives.
I can’t think about it that way.
I have to think about it as simply another school year. Where they learned. Cried. Fought with their friends. Made up with their friends. Grew a little. Or a lot. They were inspired. And sometimes bored. They were kind. And sometimes not. But in the end, they hopefully leave a little smarter and a bit more grown up and maybe even better people.
It’s one school year in a lifetime.
And now we move on to the next.