My youngest child, H, is going to camp for the first time tomorrow. She can’t decide if she’s excited about camp or irritated that she has to wear socks and shoes for 5 mornings this week. I can’t decide if I’m relieved to have a little extra time to myself with one less child or anxious that she’ll keep her grandparents and cousin awake all night tonight with the barky cough she picked up from her neighborhood friends.
This is a first for her and for me. Yes, she has finished kindergarten–and a good portion of 1st grade–but we’re a homeschooling family. I’ve never put her on a yellow school bus or dropped her off to spend 7 hours with another teacher. S, our middle daughter attempted to spend part of the week with my sister’s family last summer; her attempt lasted a stunning 21 hours, and that’s only because I refused to drive an additional 4 hours to get her without first getting a full night’s sleep. Our oldest, G, is a pro at spending time with the grandparents; she regularly reminds us that she will legally be an adult when she turns 18 and won’t have to live with us anymore. (She’s quite knowledgeable for 10.)
But this week will be different. G will be away at horse camp this week and living the dream life that we so cruelly deny her. (Or at least that’s her interpretation.) H and her cousin O will be living my dream life: being spoiled rotten by their grandparents, eating all sorts of things that Mom doesn’t allow, and playing games at a day camp whose theme is Superheroes!
That leaves just me and S in a position we haven’t seen since G left for 3-year-old preschool. She was easy to please back then. We went for walks, visited playgrounds, and ate Egg McMuffins. But she’s 8 now and knows there are fancier places than McDonald’s. What will we do with ourselves this week? I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to every minute of it.