Camp Happy

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Filed under the heading “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”

So it seems to be the thing here to send kids to summer camp.

After camp. After camp. After camp.

At first I was on board. And then I starting adding up the dollars. Ouch.

I would super rather travel.

For the last four or five years in So Cal, with the economic situation and all, we did Camp Mom. Everybody did Camp Mom. It was the thing to do. And, there were no parks and rec or community college camps anyway.

No money.

Somehow, Oregon has money for a robust parks and rec and community college summer camp community.

Cooking and hiking and forensics and basketball and swimming and church camp.

It’s tempting, but I’m not jumping in. The kids need to learn to just be.

To do their chores early before it gets really hot. To read a book on the patio and watch a movie in the afternoon. To play legos for hours in the cool air-conditioning. To ride their bikes down to the splash park and meet their friends at the pool. To eat homemade popsicles.

To help mom clean and pack the trailer for a weekend jaunt or three.

They are going to whine and fight and tell me they are bored twelve hundred million thousand times.

Assuming I can hold my marbles together long enough to avoid jumping off the balcony or tying them to a tree with a “Free to a good home” sign, I know I’ll be doing them a favor: teaching them that I am not responsible for their happiness.

Concerned for their happiness, sure. But that’s it.

The rest they have to figure out on their own. I’m giving them a chance to appreciate the small and quiet moments, the slow moments, the imaginative moments. Maybe even, please God, the naptime moments.

This lesson will not happen overnight. It will not happen without me sitting up, wild-eyed at 3 am in the middle of July, trolling for last minute camps in August. It will not happen without tears and talking back and time outs.

Which means it will also not happen without vodka.

But such are the trials of motherhood.

I refuse to feel guilty about our mostly camp free summer. I’m not getting sucked into the “summer homework meet-up” with some folks from school, either. The success or failure of my kids’ future lives is not going to turn on the social schedule of Summer 2015. So we’re going to chill. And camp. And travel. And chill some more.

In the meantime, it’s 9 am and my girls are laying on the couch in jammies and Gabe is still asleep.

That’s what I’m talking about. Welcome to Camp Happy.

2 thoughts on “Camp Happy

  1. Amen, Amen, Amen. Kids are over organized, over stimulated, and over managed.
    When they say they are bored, give them a chore to do. My kids knew NEVER to tell me they were bored. 🙂 Happy Camp Happy!!!!

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