It’s that time of year again. Time to sign kids up for summer camps. It’s a love/hate thing. While I love the idea of the kids being at camps and not driving me insane 24/7, the logistics can be a nightmare. Sometimes I think I need an engineer from NASA to come draw me a schematic or flow chart of who is going where and when. And what happened to the good old days when our parents would kick us out in the morning and tell us to come home in time for dinner? A different world, that’s for sure. What happened to kids using their imaginations and creating a space rocket out of an empty, giant, cardboard box? Now they control a space rocket on the screen of some sort of an electronic gadget to destroy alien invaders or to build their own futuristic cities.
These days, if you don’t send your kids to all kinds of different summer camps, it seems like they are left to fend for themselves, with few friends around to play with. God forbid they aren’t entertained every second of the day. There is pretty much a camp for everything too—-boy scout camp, art camp, basketball camp, yoga camp, junior architect camp, sumo wrestling camp… For some parents, camps aren’t enough. They want their kids to be learning during the summer as well, so they register them for summer school or extra classes like Introduction to Swahili or Norse Mythology. Surely those will help Johnny get into Harvard. There are also numerous vacation bible camps, and by August, I am honestly fine with enrolling them in Satanic Cult camp if it gets them out of my hair.
Then there are the carpools. With three kids going in three different directions, these can be more confusing than and about as f—ed up as Obamacare. Take child 1 to pick up three of his friends and drop them at chess camp, child 2 is getting picked up by another mom to go to frog hunting camp, and child three is still on the computer, three hours later. One child in the carpool forgets his epi-pen so we turn around to get that. Child 2 forgets his lunch so mom has to rush back, cursing under her breath the whole time wondering why he can’t just learn to eat frog’s legs. Hell, it’s a delicacy in some places. Child 3 gets off the computer to get a “snack” and leaves the kitchen looking like something out of an episode of “America’s Test Kitchen Hoarders”. And that’s just the morning.
Pickup in the afternoon is even more of a cluster with the added benefit of sweaty, smelly kids in the car. And even though they were together all day, the must yell at each other recounting the day’s activities and events at the highest decibal level possible. Then, of course, they all start making plans about which house they are going to for the rest of the day. Or the pool, which entails wet bathing suits and pool towels inevitably ending up on the bedroom floors. Whichever house they end up at (hopefully not the America’s Test Kitchen Hoarder’s house), they are all ravenous and go through every industrial sized box of crap that was just purchased on a $350 Costco run.
We live in a neighborhood with a park and a pool. Why can’t kids simply entertain themselves with these things? Or the basketball hoop in our driveway? I’m all for some structured activities but I think today we have gone way overboard. Not to mention the cost. It seems like come April, all I do is open up my checkbook and write another camp deposit check.
Summer also brings with it an endless stream of happy hours and outdoor drinking time. From adult sippy cups at the pool to evenings sitting around the fire pit drinking. Not an easy time for a recovering alcoholic. Just as you have survived and put the tough holiday season behind you, here comes summer with all its temptation. And whether the kids go to camp and you are crazed with the logistics, or they stay home and drive you batty, you’re pretty much ready for a drink at the end of the day. So I’m off to invent some fun summer mocktails that I can spend this last bit of spring perfecting. Maybe that’s an idea for a new camp for junior—-Kids’ Mocktail Bartender Camp.
Summer, turns me upside down
Summer, summer, summer
It’s like a merry go round——The Cars