I just dropped my 14-year-old daughter Anna off for a week of flute camp; and boy, does it feel good. And I'm sure she is feeling the same way. I'm just glad she allowed me to stop the car before she jumped out at our destination. I followed her in and got a glimpse of the sleeping arrangements - 4 girls to a room, 3 or 4 rooms bunched together - and couldn't help exclaiming in dismay, "This is a week-long slumber party!" To which Anna said, "Yes!" in the happiest voice I've heard from her in almost 2 years.
I'll give her credit - she's earned this week. It's a local camp, but Anna paid her own babysitting money to be able to board at the teacher's gorgeous house (complete with home movie theater and swimming pool - egads!) with the other girls (I told you she was desperate to get away from us - 300 dollars worth of desperate). And she even cleaned the bathroom without complaining before she left. I'm sure she'll have a great time, and it's sort of nice for us all to get a break from her unhappy presence. That's a win-win situation if I ever heard one.
Which makes it hard for me to understand the parents featured in this NY Times article. I mean, don't they need a break? Don't they savor the relief of not being responsible for their kids for a couple of weeks? I'm loving not having to remind Anna about laundry, or chores, or whatever for 7 whole days. And imagine - no hair product emergencies! Can life be any easier? I don't think so.
So I'm just going to kick back and revel in the unadulterated adoration of my younger kids for the next week or so. I'll need that rest and relaxation to cope with what we call Anna's re-entry syndrome when she returns home. Because I can tell you now, it won't be pretty.