A Little Help with Homesickness...

The first day of camp is an emotionally driven day filled with bittersweet, mixed feelings. Excitement and anxiety are literally playing Tug of War in the stomach of almost every parent and camper.

The kids that are going off to day camp, that’s a big step, but the kids that are leaving for overnight camp---that’s hard core. I imagine it’s very similar to sending a kid off to college, but with bathing suits and Mad Libs. I also imagine that I, too, would feel my oatmeal on its way up if I had to put my kids on a bus, kiss them good-bye and hope for the best, but I don’t, because I’m on the other side.

I’m at camp. So, while the parents who had to say good-bye are all sad and crying, I’m jumping up and down waiting for the busses to pull up and the kids to come piling out.

"Welcome to camp, yo!!!!

On one hand, I’m the last person any parent would want to listen to because how can I possibly understand what they're going through? I’m still with my kids. I don’t have to let them go. I live at camp and when my kids are ready to go into cabins, I‘ll still be here. (HAHAHAH on them!!)

On the other hand, I’m a good person to hear from because I know what’s happening on the camp end. I know that it’s totally and completely normal for every single kid to feel homesick (it’s actually the ones who don’t miss home that I worry about---what's up with THAT?) And I get homesick too. I miss my friends and my family and my Greek salads with chicken.

But the thing is, it’s OK to take a break from all of that. It’s good to change your scenery and your lifestyle and your clothes and your food. It’s good to push yourself and try new things and meet new people. And, most importantly, it’s good to learn that you can have fun and enjoy what you're doing WHILE still loving and missing the people you’re not with. No guilt. It can all be done at the same time. It just takes a minute to let go.

But once you do, it's ALL good because all the fun, the action, the memories, the drama---it’s all at camp.

I know it’s hard when you walk by your little boy’s room and he’s not there.  I know you miss your little girl and her sweet smile and there’s a void in your heart and in your home. But they’re OK. The first few nights will be hard, for both of you, but in the end, it’s all going to be OK. Camp is a good thing.

And it’s not just good for your kids, it’s good for you too. You get this time to do stuff with your spouse or your partner or whatever you have. I don’t know... have some sex and then binge watch a show while you binge eat baked goods. Hang out, do stuff together, make sure you guys still like each other. (If you find that you don’t, sorry. Don't blame me though. I got my own problems.)

When I signed up for this life, there is no way that I understood that I (by default) would be responsible for a bunch of kids. I mean, technically, I don't "do" anything at camp, but if something happens, it ends up on my table. It’s already laughable that I’m responsible for my own two kids, but soon this place will be filled with a whole bunch of other people’s kids! It's all so crazy. My husband sleeps with his eyes open. I’m not kidding. I’m all “blah blah blah” thinking he’s paying attention to me, but really he fell asleep.I can’t get mad though because his job is stressful. Thankfully he’s good behind the curtain, because I can't be bothered. I'm too busy on the other side; the fun side.

And over the years, on that side, I have learned a few things that you might find beneficial:

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