Thursday, April 8, 2010

Over the Hills and Far Away

This time of year many parents of school age children struggle to come up with inventive, and cost-effective, ways to keep their kids occupied during the summer months.

Alas, even though school is out, work is not, and most parents have to work during July and August without the option of taking an annual sabbatical to watch their kids. The good news for me, for the time being, is that day care is year round. The bad news, LP starts school in 2011.

What did our parents do when we were kids? I know some of my friends had pools and spent the summer lounging around. I guess they must have had a stay-at-home parent? Some went to day camp, but not many. I guess I have no clue.

Growing up, I went to camp. Despite the fact that both of my parents were teachers and had the summers off, it was not their deepest desire to spend the summer entertaining me and my brother. From ages 5-8 I went to day camp and at nine I made the switch to the associated sleepaway camp in New Hampshire. I remember the first time I got onto the coach bus for the seven hour drive to New Hampshire, looking out the window at my mom crying hysterically.

Only now do I know how strong my mom must have been. Strong to not climb onto the bus and come with me.

Camp was a great experience. Most of the time. Ten girls living in a bunk together for eight weeks certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster (and a horror movie). But we survived, became independent and emotional, learned how to barter food from our care packages, shave, play tennis, swim the 12 laps so we could take out sailboats and canoes...

The Hoos also went to sleepaway camp, and we both are pretty sure that we want for the girls to have the same experience when the time comes. LP is only three, but I know how time flies. And, to be honest, the thought of her climbing onto a bus to spend an entire summer away from me is making me tear up already.


Robyn said...

I went to daycamp every year until I was 13 and then it was travel camp (just overnight trips and one longer trip).

I LOVED camp, but was never brave enough to do the sleep-away one. I can't imagine losing my boys for a whole summer!

Tides of time - ThaĆ­s's LandDream said...

Over the hills n Far away, this name , because the Nightwish ' s music ?

Wenderina said...

Don't forget us kids of teachers. Being on the same work schedule was how I was able to spend all my summers in my own backyard. Of course all of my friends did too. We didn't know what sleepaway camp was, until we were old enough for those horror movies, that is.