It’s strange around my house this week.
Strange in a different way than usual, I mean.
I woke up this morning to the sound of, well – nothing.
My home is relatively neat – strange enough – but the order has remained intact for more than 10 consecutive minutes!
The laundry is not multiplying exponentially.
This can only mean one thing: My kids are at summer camp this week.
This kind of prolonged peace and quiet always comes at a price. A few things I had to endure:
1.) Giving up control (Gasp!). This is the first time my 9-year-old son, Micah, has been away from home for more than one night. This is a big deal for any mom and boy. But Micah has cystic fibrosis, a genetic respiratory and digestive disease. Relinquishing his care into someone else’s hands, even a someone with R.N. after their name, was more difficult than trying to wrestle a bear cub from his mama.
To say I wrote down detailed instructions would be a bit of an understatement. It made War and Peace look like light reading. I also had a long, detailed phone conversation with the camp nurse (or as she likes to call it “The Inquisition.”)
After Micah and I gave each other “one last hug” for the fourth time, his father finally broke up the lovefest and made him get on the bus. Evil, evil man.
2.) A pre-camp shopping trip to SuperTarget. Once we walked through the doors, it immediately became like herding cats. Mike and I finally decided to divide and conquer. He took the boy and I got the “spend like there’s no tomorrow” pre-teen. Ahem. How did that happen? You would be absolutely amazed at the things a young girl “needs” for camp. I said “no” so many times, that she began asking me for insane things just to annoy me. “Mom, can I have the monkey sippy cup with the straw? I saw that on the camp list.” “Mom, how about this cookie jar? I need somewhere to keep my snacks.”
Hilarious. Can we go now?
3.) Overseeing two campers pack. This requires a Ph.D. in patience – a degree I’m still working on. Micah was fixated on his need to “pack money” while Molly filled half her suitcase with grooming supplies. When I told Micah I’d packed his toiletries, he burst out laughing. “Toilet-ries?! You packed a toilet?!” I know, I know, too much Spongebob.
After a few more frantic episodes, the kids were gone. Just like that. Peace and quiet reigns. And it occurred to me that I’m married to a husband and not just a father, a fact that often gets lost in the busyness and demands of keeping up with two high-energy, strong-willed children.
For six whole days, we’re just Melinda and Mike, instead of Mom and Dad. Strange, indeed.
It’s a bit sad that it took shipping our kids out of the house to force us to have some couple time. It’s something we simply have to decide to do more often. Everyone – kids included – are happier campers when things are good with Mom and Dad. It gives them security and a healthy model for their own future marriages.
After all, before God gave us children, He gave us each other. Losing sight of that is a dangerous thing to do.
Because one day – sooner than we realize – the kids will be gone. Just like that.
A note to my Operation Organization Brigade: I am so excited that so many of you have enlisted! This is going to be fun!! On Thursday, I'll remind you of the instructions. On Friday (kick-off day), I will post some great tips for tackling your clutter (from my insanely organized friend Dina). Can't wait to do battle with you! If you haven't joined, see the post below. It's not too late to enlist!