summer camping


On Monday, after a quick trip to Target and a doctor’s appointment for three abysmally late well checks, I dropped the girls off for their first day of YMCA day camp. It felt all kinds of weird and luxurious and guilty and confusing.

Camp has been out of our price range in the past. But this year, since I’m juggling two part-time, work-from-home jobs, it was a necessity. I can take them to the YMCA for 2 hours of free daycare per day, followed up by the swimming I bribe them with in the first place, but we can only do that for so many days in a row before the thumping base from the Body Pump class mixed with the constant jackhammering from their current remodel construction makes me go cross-eyed. I could pay $24 for a day at the bouncy house and still come out ahead. But have you ever tried to work in a bouncy house, surrounded by strollers and bad top 40 music?

This year when I considered taking on more part-time work, Christian and I had a long talk about it and decided that we could make it work with a few day camps sprinkled throughout the summer, some hours at the Y daycare, and some early morning and evening hours. Summer, after all, is temporary, and come August, I’ll have three girls in school and hours of alone time during the day.

Still, these strange, guilty thoughts started clouding my head when I though about signing them up for camps.

Yes! You get a break!

But it’s summer. They’re supposed to be home with me, you know, summering and stuff. Splash pads, popsicles, etc.

How do you expect to get any work done with them home every day or taking them on various adventures? Ain’t no wifi at the splash pad.

I’m pretty sure they’ll think I abandoned them. How much is in our Saving for Therapy account?

What do you think other moms who work full time have to do? They’ll have fun! New experiences! Swimming! Field Trips! Asking someone else for snacks!

But what if their bus driver starts having acid flashbacks? Or they can’t figure out how to put their clothes back on after swimming? Or that flesh-eating bacteria that’s going around public pools!

Get a grip, woman! It’s not a flesh-eating bacteria. At most it’ll cause debilitating cramping and painful diarrhea. NBD. I can’t speak for the bus driver though.

Okay fine, maybe it’s me. Maybe I’ll miss them.

And to that Christian swiftly said, “I want you to think real hard about last summer. Go back and read your blog if you have to. Then tell me you don’t think you want them to go to day camp for a week.”

Well played, husband. Well played.


Update: It’s 3:44pm. I realize I probably should have given them some kind of heads up as to what time I’ll be picking them up. Truth is, I have no idea myself. Camp closes at 6. I’m supposed to be using this time to work, but I’ve mostly been toggling back and forth between all my tasks for two different jobs and partaking in all the Facebook. And I wrote this post. You’re welcome.

Update 4:10pm. Look at how productive I’m being. Why am I itching to pick them up? IDK, I guess i’ll just work until my laptop battery runs out?

Update 5:43pm. I ended up picking them up around 5pm….after getting lost in the unfamiliar neighborhood because there were 2 addresses for the school in my phone, and of course I chose the first on, and of course it took me to a dead end. A dead end in a very nice neighborhood, “your destination is on the right” is a dirty lie, you whore phone.

Update 8:07pm. They had a great day. No acid flashbacks, that I know of. So far no diarrhea. They missed me. I missed them.

And Zoe did come back with her underwear on sideways, so it’s not like my fears were TOTALLY unfounded.

Happy campers
Happy campers


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  1. Camp guilt is the worst. This is my only week of the summer with both kids in a camp and I spent the first 2 hours feeling anxious. Enjoy it! They are loving it, I’m sure. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to camp and be endlessly entertained?! Plus I don’t know about you, but my kids went to bed early tonight for the first time all summer. Priceless.

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