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Turns out my kids love sleep away camp! But they are very subtle about it. Like last week I got this letter from my 9 year old daughter…

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The circus activities are fun! Fantastic! Tell me more…

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The kids in the “green shirts” are day campers who get to go home at night.

And clearly she’s begging us to let her come home. But I’m also reading between the lines and I think she’s saying… I LOVE THIS CAMP!!!

Above view of young children standing together in the park with handsclasp

Anyway, this is one of those 3 week camps, where the kids come home on the weekends. Never heard of it? I’ll tell you why. Because no one is looking for their kids to come home on the weekends!

As soon as my 9 year old daughter got home, she totally defected. She insisted she wasn’t going back. And frankly, we didn’t make her.

Because she’s 9. And summer is supposed to be fun, not agonizing.  And most importantly, because they had a pretty generous refund policy.

I still have one kid at sleep away camp.

Who I’m just going to assume is having the BEST TIME EVER!! (Please don’t tell me otherwise.)


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.

I did.

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.

  1. Cost. (I like cheap.)
  2. No technology. (Because if my kid is going to stare at an iPhone all day, I can do that at home for even cheaper!)
  3. Sunscreen. (It needs to be applied. At some point. Before camp is over.)
  4. 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…

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And a lice free kid is a happy kid.

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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…

Recital program

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.

Dylan at dance recital

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.

Dance Recital

kelcey kintner