many parents wouldn’t exist if their children had been a little more careful

Top Ten Reasons I Send my Kids to Sleep-away Camp

1. It would be bad to see a story about myself on the cover of a “newspaper” on the supermarket line, in a headline such as, “Suburban Mother of 3 Finally Snaps!”

2. Teens and pre-teens, like their 2 and 3 year old selves, do not understand that when they speak to me when I’m talking on the phone with someone else, I really do not want to be interrupted. Really. Unless they’re bleeding. Which they usually aren’t. And even then. They know where the band-aids are.

3. I get to write. I get to write. I get to write. Believe it or not, I do not want to drive them places all summer. I do not want to make them lunch. I do not care if they’re bored. When they’re not here I actually get to write.

4. They need a break from me. I’m a pain in the ass.

5. I need a break from them. They’re pains in the ass.

6. Oh yeah! They happen to love camp! They gain independence, have an inordinate amount of fun, learn skills such as rock climbing, wake-boarding, sailing, ceramics, and living in community.

7. I like spending thousands of dollars every summer. On the shit they need to take with them to camp. And on camp. It’s fun.

8. Did I mention that I write when they’re at camp? I get to write!

9. I like to play classical music, 70’s disco and the Grateful Dead, loud, on my car radio. I do not like it when my passenger immediately asks, “Can I change this?” when they get in the car. (See #1, above.)

10. Why are lists always “top ten”? Because of our fingers & toes?

What about you? What do you need a break from? Do you give it to yourself?


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7 responses to “many parents wouldn’t exist if their children had been a little more careful

  1. Rhonda

    Taking a month-long break from Key West as we speak. Love our island but seeing the same dozen-or-so people every day, no matter where I go, wears on my sanity. Most of our kids came with us, though. No such summer camp luck.

  2. I remember how very many times in the past I had free time and blew it. I would say “Where did the day go??” I sometimes feel I get a lot more done when I am BUSY. So there must be a psychological block I have that I don’t really deserve “Time Off” at all. Oh well. I cooked today so I wouldn’t have to do it on the weekend, and guess what…I am going to write!!!!!Love ya cuz, M.

  3. Paula Bernhardt Touger

    if you play your cards right they will grow up and work at the camps they love, be away for the summer and it doesn’t cost you a penny!! And they get paid!!! It was an awesome concept 5 years ago and it still thrills to this day!!

  4. I just wrote a piece for my newspaper, The Hudson Gazette about this (summer=bored kids and frustrated parents). You can find it on my blog :

    Feel free to share your tips about what to do with kids during the summer on The Hudson Gazette’s Facebook page:!/pages/The-Hudson-Gazette/437408105332


  5. As someone who’s kids are now living on their own, I’m here to tell you: It gets better.

    Can’t wait to read the results of your writing!

  6. Rhona

    I don’t have children, but I can tell you that I apologized to my mother constantly when I grew up, for all the misery I caused her. I was a needy baby, a hyper child, and a very moody teen. I am quite sure that she wanted to throttle me on many occasions! I would have, had I been her!

    Linda, you are a GREAT mother, and I know that when they grow up, your children will do everything they can so that you can live in the manner to which you’d like to become accustomed.

    Either that, or they’ll find you a very nice room in a Home for the Bewildered. 😉

    Now pack those those babies off to camp and WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!

  7. LOL! It sounds like you are ready for camp to start. 🙂 Happy writing!