SANITY FOR A (FIRST-TIME) SLEEP-AWAY CAMP MOM...
1. Make sure that your child has what she needs. To be clear -- everything she needs. Everything she could ever possibly need, in any given scenario, on any given day. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and burrow far into your imagination. Endeavor to conceive of any and all circumstances in which a need could possibly arise for your child -- and then fill that gnawing hole with a material object, (preferably personalized, in multiple colors, textures and dimensions.) Your child has needs, but you are also helping them learn the life skill of the need to make choices.
(Footnote: Make sure that aforementioned colors, textures and dimensions are all exactly the same colors, textures and dimensions that the other moms are sending for their kids. This way, they can all learn to be independent by being exactly the same. Don’t overthink it.) 2. The kids may be homesick, but you’ll finally be home-happy! After all, you’ve spent the better part of the past 6 months staring at what was once your tonal living room transformed into the post-apocalyptic Denny’s stockroom. And now, quite suddenly, it’s free from ominous piles of all things neon, ombre, tye-dye and emoji. You can actually see the floor! Take stock of your now visible walls and finally go look for that great piece of art to fill them. You’ve gotten used to the thought of color, and now, you’ve got the time. 3. Come up with lots of interesting and camera-ready things you can do with your #summerof(remainingchild/children.) Down one or more kids, this is your opportunity to have some family fun when there’s time to shower before! Break out that curling wand and gleefully use it without searing your forearms. If it’s the #summerofanyone, you should really look a bit better than you did during the #summersofeveryone, or you’re doing something wrong. 4. Send your child with enough check-list stationary and pre-addressed envelopes that letter writing requires minimal exertion. Your sweet-pea works so hard all year!! Staying connected is essential-- just not in any way that requires thought or organization. If they have to think about things as taxing as stamp placement, how on earth will they have enough energy reserved for screaming cheers and making up skits? As well, the easier you make it for your child to send you Santa-worthy lists of what to bring on visiting day, the faster you can switch your screen from the camp website over to Amazon Prime, and to stop reading into the micro-expressions of every single camper at the 4th of July BBQ. Be a doer, not a dweller.
5. Speaking of visiting day, it’s never too early to start planning the outfit. This is Coachella of Maine, ladies. You want to look casual and indie but still put-together and stylish. In fact, maybe it’s time to stop worrying about if your daughter has enough Malibu Sugars, and start worrying about if you have a pair of jean shorts that provide enough coverage for when you’re sitting Indian-style on the ground, sweating profusely, eating a box lunch. You promised yourself you wouldn’t cry when you said good-bye, but chaffing is real, and it stings! Dress smart, not the part!