Aug 1, 2010

Summer Time And The Living Isn't Exactly Easy But...

People keep asking me what summer camp my children are going to this year. I'm going out on a limb here to clarify my feelings regarding summer camp. I hate summer camp. In my day there was no such thing as summer camp unless you were dripping with money. I grew up in a Catholic Irish/French/Italian neighborhood where no one had money. Just lots of kids and Mary statues in the front yard. Most mothers didn't work in the 50's and 60's and for those of us who had working mothers the rest of the neighbors pitched in and made sure we didn't burn our houses down. Occasionally, they'd toss us a bologna sandwich.

We did have a one week Catholic camp that I went to once at the age of 7. I flunked my canoe test so I never even set one foot in the alligator infested lake but i did learn all about "making out." Our teen cabin counselor snuck out nightly behind a tree to meet up with a counselor from the boys Catholic camp over yonder and we would all peek out of the screened door, watch and giggle. The highlight of this camp was winning a glow in the dark rosary when I was presented with the "most religions camper" award at the end of the week. I wish I still had that rosary.

The Genius and the Artist endured years of summer camps and vacation bible schools since I was a single working mom and in the 80's
latchkey was a dirty word and not the norm. I still carry the guilt as do most single working moms. Sorry girls.

The boy went to summer camp once and re-broke his femur during origami week. It took 1 1/2 years to heal. Cursed Japanese paper folding camp.

I've been trying to get the teenager into a special needs summer camp since she was 6. That was 11 years ago. They've never had an opening. I think it's kind of like getting a ticket for a rock concert. I probably have to go camp out at the rec center over night or something to get her on the list. If one more mom of a special needs kid comes up to me and tells me their child has been going to this camp since they were born I might just hurt them. Beware.

At my age I've finally resolved the summer issue and the guilt that is heaped upon our mom heads by a society who has gone "entertain your kids" insane. And for the first time in a long time I am actually enjoying summer. I haven't knelt by my bedside once this summer asking God to make it all go away and have the school district decide to start school early this year.

It's fun watching them be kids. Getting tan, eating watermelon, catching bugs, sleeping late. Yesterday, for instance the boy had his guy friends from da hood over for a swim, cookout and marshmallow roast. After the boys wrecked my house
left we all cuddled up and watched Anne Of Green Gables which I got free from freecycle. I still have the barbecue potato chip crumbs in my bed. It really was fun!

The bottom line is this...and it's the truth and nothing but the truth. If your child spends the summer at home or they go to a camp in the Swiss alps where they para sailed with The Rock and the entire cast of i Carly when your child's teacher asks them what they did this summer the answer will always be the same. "Nothing."
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Diane said...

You. are. a. gifted. writer!

Jennie said...

I agree with Diane!

(Oh and... and accept the VBS apology ;) )