Summer camp: the return of my inner college kid.
This is the time of year when people around the water cooler ask, “What are your kids doing this summer?” They are making small talk, yes, but make no mistake: they are also pumping you for information and making mental notes for next summer.
(For the record: VINS camp, Girl Scout Camp, baking camp at King Arthur Flour, Lightening Soccer Camp and cartoon camp at the Center for Cartoon Studies in WRJ. Steal all as needed.)
This week, I had the luxury of saying, “Mine are away for the week.”
“You must miss them so much,” say the casual acquaintances.
“That’s awesome!” say the people who know me. Because it is.
When the kids left, I stumbled through my usual half day of unease, and then made detailed plans to whip my house, my car, and my life into shape. I’d clean the car! Empty every laundry basket! Clean the shower (oh god, that shower) top to bottom! Make fresh fun dinners that said kids would never eat!
I was, of course, delusional.
Instead, I regressed 20 years as soon as the kids vacated. I’ve been snacking directly out of the cabinet – as in, potato chips from the bag to mymouth, because why would I dirty a dish? Watching zombie movies. Lolling out of bed ten minutes before I have to be anywhere because there are no small people asking me to open the pickle jar for them at some absurd morning hour.
But to their credit, the small people hold me together. In them I have structure and expectations. I have valid reasons to leave work at 5:00 (e.g. they are starving and have never been fed, ever), errands to run because they constantly need things, and bedtimes to keep. Left to my own devices, I am loathe to do anything practical. Here’s what I’ve accomplished in the week they’ve been gone:
- Had a great dinner at Candela;
- Caught the evening performance of Doggie Hamlet on the Dartmouth Green;
- Saw Wonder Woman at the Lebanon Six;
- Spent a day moseying around Meredith Harbor;
- And just now, ate a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. I ate it on the couch. And I didn’t even make one for Kyle.
In other words, I’ve been useless. But I'm enjoying it even as I feel the tug of neglected responsibilities starting to take over. The mom in me wants to make sure the girls have fresh sheets, clean rooms, and all their favorite foods stocked by the time they get back. And they will.
As soon as this movie ends.