THE 7 STAGES OF SENDING YOUR KIDS TO CAMP AFTER A PANDEMIC
1. Shock and disbelief: At this stage, you are likely to feel like you were hit by a Mack truck. Something’s wrong, but you’re numb. You thought maybe you’d feel elation and relief – but your body is too damn tired to muster anything resembling emotion. You thought maybe you’d be a bucket of tears, but your system is so dehydrated from back-to-back dinners at Nobu and Mr. Chow, that the tears won’t come. You’re in a stupor and that’s okay. Your husband may try to make idle chit chat, as if the kids are just in the other room playing X-Box, which will release your inner ire, and remind you that you can feel something.
2. Awakening. As you slowly come to, you are besieged by the need to seek info. You will let your fingers do the talking, and text 30 mothers across 7 state lines to piece together a vague construct of what is happening to your baby who you sent away to learn how to survive without you. You will make grand assumptions, based on the opinion of a random mom with a 941 area code (you will google 941 area code) whose “daughter has a friend from Hebrew School who’s in that bunk and seems like a nice girl.”
3. Relief. You made it through the first night without a phone call from camp telling you that your daughter rolled violently off the top bunk. You enjoy your morning coffee in peace, and think about what you want to do with your day.
4. Panic. That’s right, WTF are you going to do now? This time is your time. USE IT WISELY. It’s not 2020 – you can’t just sit around and bake bread anymore.
5. Volatility. You’re A-OK!!! But strange things make you cry like a mother in mourning. A young family frolicking on the beach. The innocent jingle from an approaching ice cream truck. A quick glance towards the kids untouched bedrooms as you casually walk by for the first time in two days.
6. Jealousy. OK, is my kid having TOO much fun? I mean, I want him to be happy but, like, is he TOO happy? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him smile like that before. Is that affection I see? Can we go back to that smile? It looks like he’s actually been wearing his retainer. They must be micro dosing the kids. This isn’t normal.
7. Terror. Holy crap, how is it July 4th already? The summer is going by way too fast. The kids will be home in 38 days. 38 days! And I haven’t even begun working on my short game, or organizing our 35,000 family photos on the Cloud. This is bullsh-t. Camp should be 8 weeks. They post too much. How I am ever supposed to get anything done?!