Summer recreation. It’s a gift from God to all parents who work twenty-five hours a day. It’s eighty dollars for the whole summer. I’m in love.
Declan’s been talking about summer camp for days, but yesterday was the first day. We packed his lunch and sped away to the parking lot of his school where the first part of camp was being held.
“You didn’t tell me you were bringing me to school!” The happiness meter went to zero.
I was confused. Mom is dropping me off at school! Traitor!
Declan hates school. He tells me every day. I find something positive to say.
“Math is good.” He likes money. “You can use your money to get money if you learn math.” He only likes gym.
“School has dumb rules. We just sit and wait, sit and wait, sit and wait. And be quiet all the time. ‘Declan, sit down. Declan be quiet! Declan, don’t be inappropriate!'” He imitates the teacher. He does a pretty good job because she says his name a lot.
“No, buddy, it’s summer camp. School is closed. Camp uses the space.” He’s imaging worksheets. “Trust me.”
I brought him into a room of a million parents all excited to get eight hours of freedom. I sign him in, waiting for an announcement, “You’ve been pranked. You’re teaching this group!” or “Nope, take him home.”
Neither happened. No pranks–just hours of silence. I wrote. I drank coffee. I wrote some more. I drank more coffee. I overdosed on happiness. If heaven exists, this is what it looks like for me.
Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the boy. When I arrived, a nice teen said, “Oh, Declan’s mom?” Usually that means the principal wants me, but not this time. “Declan’s a little bit sad.”
He was crying, cuddled against another teen. “Mommy, you didn’t let me go to the pond.” The pond was until five o’clock. I thought that would have been a long day. “All the other kids went swimming and not me.” He was crushed.
He got left out. And it was all my fault. Picking up the pieces was the price for my five hours of heaven.
I told he could go to the pond every other day. He smiled. I contemplated seven hours of silence instead of five.
I love camp!
I took a moment to project good karma to every teen and twenty-something who’s gave me this little slice of heaven. This summer, I’ll get some good things done. I won’t procrastinate. I’ll make good use of time.
Right after I sit in silence with this lovely cup of tea.