Campingly Yours: She’s Leaving Home

Campingly Yours: She’s Leaving Home

The day I have dreaded is upon us.  K left for overnight camp this morning and I did a good job keeping it together until the very last moment. As I gave her the final hug goodbye, I broke down in tears.  Yes, I BROKE DOWN…not the other way around.  She didn’t shed a tear.  I suppose you’re going to say that the mother crying because she is going to miss her child and not the child crying because she is going to miss her mother is a sign of good parenting.  You know what I say?  I really don’t care.

Let’s be clear; I wanted K to go to camp.  Here are some of the reasons:

  1. Her absence allows my husband and I to go on a much needed GROWN UP vacation. This year we are headed to Africa with friends.
  2. She’s an only child which means K is around adults much of the time.  Going to camp allows her to have an opportunity to live with and interact with other girls her age.
  3. She gets a break from some of the monotony and routine of home.  Mixing it up and being in new situations allows for growth.
  4. Here’s a hard one for me: Being separated, while not ideal, does allow K and I to have a break and appreciate each other when we are together again.  (i.e. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.)
  5. I can take an exercise class or workout whenever I want without having to worry about where K is and if she is having a good time.
  6. I can go to sleep whenever I want.  Since I am the person who usually puts K to sleep, I also don’t go to sleep until she is out for the night.  This can sometimes take longer than I would like.
  7. My husband and I can watch shows with “more mature” themes and language without worrying that K might wander in or be exposed to something we consider to be inappropriate.
  8. We don’t have to be role models.  Yes, I said it.  We CAN eat popcorn for dinner and not feel ashamed that a good example is not being set for our child
  9. There is more spontaneity in our life.  (Interpret that as you see fit.) We can come and go as we please when we please without having to worry about getting a sitter–among other things.
  10. No Nick, Nick Jr. Nick Teen, Disney Channel or other child related shows or movies shall play in our house UNLESS we choose to play them.  Yes, that means that I get control of the remote once in a while and don’t have to barter with my daughter for who gets to watch what when.
There is no doubt that I miss my daughter already and I am confident that she will feel the tug to be home tonight as she gets ready for bed.  But  K has made some serious plans to perfect her water skiing and fishing skills.  She will have a chance to read some books and even more importantly get a break from the “hustle and bustle” of her busy school and extra curricular life.  As for the two of us, well A and I also have a great summer lined up.  We are traveling, visiting with friends and hanging with each other.  It’s been a long time since we have had a chance to get up in the morning and not have to rush Kayla to a lesson or a friends house.  I guess you can call us “Empty Nesters” for the next 8 weeks! I think that after a bit, we will start to like it.

 

Special Occasions: Found in the Strangest Places

Special Occasions: Found in the Strangest Places

Many thanks to Hallmark for inspiring me to make a Special Occasion T-Shirt at BlogHer11.

I am addicted to being with my daughter.  So sending her to 4 weeks of summer camp nearly put me in a depressive state.  If it hadn’t been for my fantastic hero of a husband who made sure that I was busy partying and meeting new friends, I am not sure what I would have done with all of the free time I suddenly had.  Despite the partying and great restaurants we frequented, I still found myself missing my daughter.

Call it catharsis, call it kismet, but I was totally jazzed when I happened up the Hallmark booth at BlogHer11.  Attendees were asked to write what they defined as a “Special Occasion” on a Purple (it’s a sign!) t-shirt and have a picture taken on their web site.  So what did I select as my special occasion?

Picking my daughter up from Summer Camp is my Special Occasion! 

Making that t-shirt actually did make me feel a bit better.  Now I could declare to all of the world that I could not wait to see my child!  When I showed the shirt to friends (and complete strangers) they had the same response:  “That’s so cool! What a great shirt!  What a great idea.”  Of course, I agreed with them.

So, on the day we picked K up from camp, I wore my Special Occasion t-shirt.  Here are some pics that truly capture the moment that we were reunited:

"Oh My G-d! There's my Mom!"

A Much Anticipated Hug

Here we are with the Hallmark Tee! Together Again!

So we made it. We both had our share of tearful evenings missing each other and we were super psyched to see each other after a month.  Looking back at the experience, I think that we both benefited.  K had a chance to make her own choices on activities in which she wanted to participate and I spent some quality time with my husband and friends.

Despite missing me and her home, K immediately asked my husband and me if she could return to overnight camp next year…this time for 8 weeks!

The jury is still out on that one.  Four weeks was a lot for me to handle, I am not sure if I can make it for 8 weeks.  Wait?  It’s about K, right?  Well, that’s what my family keeps telling me.