Mom’s Letter to Camp

13 Aug

Sunday, July 29

Dear Heather, Henry and Elizabeth,

Dad and I made good time driving back home from Camp Goodriddance last night and settled down to a quiet dinner.    We celebrated (your safe arrival at camp) over a bottle of 1905 Bordeaux champagne.

Despite the fact that you didn’t want to attend sleep away camp I think we made the right decision to send you.  It will be a healthy change for us all.  You can learn some independence and I can enjoy some “me” time while dad works.

Write soon!




Monday, July 30

Dear Heather, Henry and Elizabeth,

It’s hard getting used to you not being here.  This morning out of habit I covered the toilet seat with toilet paper before I realized that nobody else had used the toilet.

For breakfast I made dad some pancakes which he would normally enjoy, except that these were shaped like unicorns and had chocolate chips in them.  He said thanks anyway but he’d buy a bran muffin at work.

I got all my errands done by 9:00 a.m. so I watched a few movies.  Then I sat on the front porch and waited for dad to come home.  Between two and seven o’clock fifty-two vehicles passed our house!  Twenty were trucks, eighteen were SUV’s, twelve were sedans, and two were tricycles.

Please write soon!




Tuesday, July 31

Dear Heather, Henry and Elizabeth,

I invited some friends over for lunch today but they’re all busy with their kids.  I can relate because I’m even busy without my kids!

I organized your closets today and got rid of all your junk.  Oh, and I have a surprise for you when you get home—I cut out all those annoying tags from your clothes and sewed in name labels!  Remember the time Elizabeth left her underwear at the water park and we weren’t sure which ones at the lost and found were hers? (I still think we guessed right).  That won’t happen again!

Believe it or not I’ve been cooking from scratch and even used the recipe book you made me for Mother’s Day.   The peanut butter and pickle casserole was great, except for when I choked.   Good thing I had the grape Kool-Aid and cheddar cheese spray smoothie to wash it down!

Haven’t heard from you yet.  Please write soon!




Wednesday, August 1

Dear Heather, Henry and Elizabeth,

I read War and Peace today.  Twice.

I keep thinking I hear your voices in the background telling each other, “If you give me another wedgie I’ll rip your head off!”  I guess it’s just my imagination.

Henry, remember that PlayStation game, Death Junkie, you asked me over and over to play with you and I always refused because it was too violent?  Well, guess what?  Not only have I been playing it, I’ve mastered the art of the gladiator!  I slaughtered all my mortal enemies in the arena battles using nothing but severed human arms and legs as weapons!

By the way, Heather, your fish are doing well.  I bought an action treasure chest and plant combo and installed a hatchery for breeding to keep them happy and entertained.  I’ve been feeding them three meals a day plus snacks.  They’re getting big!


Thursday, August 2

Dear Heather, Henry and Elizabeth,

I’ve taken up a new hobby—Civil War reenactment.

Still haven’t heard from you.   Please! Write!  Soon!

P.S.  I can’t wait until you come home.  Only five and a half more weeks!




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What’s your camp story? Have you written a letter to camp? Received a letter from camp? Picked up your kids early from camp because you were kidsick?





52 Responses to “Mom’s Letter to Camp”

  1. Carl D'Agostino at 9:14 am #

    You’ll get rid of them come college time. Of course because there is no work they will have to move back in. With their unwedded soul mate so you’ll have 1/8 less room per person. Perhaps that will be the time you can go to camp.

    • Too funny, Carl. And when it’s my turn to go to camp I’d bet the farm that my kids still won’t send me letters.

  2. downhousesoftware at 9:22 am #

    My son went away this summer to visit his grandparents’ and I felt much the same: amazed relief followed quickly by missing him and not knowing how to manage all my time. In fact, having so much time made it incredibly hard to prioritize and, in the end, I got nothing accomplished – I guess I should have at least read War and Peace.

    • Sounds like you can relate. Good point about having to re-prioritize. I’m glad I at least got the most important thing done–cutting out shirt tags. 😉 The down side is, now my kids will probably be wearing a lot of their shirts backwards.

  3. Dawn@LightenUp! at 9:41 am #

    Hahaha! “Camp Goodriddance”. Where is this place? How much does it cost? Nevermind – here’s my debit card. Book two for Weber.
    Great post.

  4. transplantednorth at 9:42 am #

    this was hysterically funny. I like the part where you try to make plans with friends but they are the “good” moms who kept their kids home and are spending time with them so they have no time for you. My husband and I have written to our three children up at Camp Ramah nearly every day. We have received a few letters back. Yesterday, my son wrote through bunk1 THREE letters, what a pleasure. He apologized that the last few letters never made it to us because he put it in the “wong” slot at the camp office. I guess that’s what happens to the homework assignments he did during the year too but never received credit for them. War and Peace, eh? I haven’t even finished the Harry Potter series I vowed I would to my children, with all this free time. Thanks for the great read!

    • So glad you enjoyed it — thanks for letting me know! It’s nice you’ve gotten a few letters back. I heard about a woman who sent her kids to a camp that requires the campers to send a letter home before they’re allowed to eat dinner. The woman’s son didn’t want to write, but he wanted his supper—so he sent home blank letters in an envelope.

  5. I suck as a parent at 9:50 am #

    So funny! And so true. When my youngest went away to camp he sent me a letter telling me to stop writing so much because the counselors were making him write back. If I couldn’t write to him what was I supposed to do? Never thought of Civil War reenactment – good one!

  6. dilipnaidu at 10:01 am #

    Very interesting! We don’t have this in my part of the world! 🙂

    • And we didn’t have it much in my part of the world growing up in California! I have found summer camp to be hugely popular on the East Coast.

  7. Paprika Furstenburg at 10:03 am #

    Funny! Since I don’t have kids, but we miss our cats terribly when we travel. Back in the olden days when we had an answering machine, we used to call home and talk to them through the speaker so they would still hear our voices and not be too lonely.

  8. Carrie Rubin at 11:52 am #

    My son is near the end of a week-long preseason football camp. Although I’m experiencing angst, it’s not because of his absence, but rather because I’m worried he’ll get injured, or be poorly fed, or be too hot, or…

    Funny post. But yours always are. 🙂

  9. How funny! My kids have never been to camp, so I can’t relate to that (just giggle over your letters), but the day my ‘baby’ started kindergarten was very traumatic.She looked so little standing in the classroom, and a little scared, so I asked…do you want me to stay for a while? She looked up at me and said, “No. Go home.” I drove around for 3 1/2 hours because I didn’t know what I was going to do with no kids in the house…I hadn’t been alone in my house forever. (it didn’t take me long to adjust to a little freedom though) 🙂

    • So understandable! When so much of who we are and what we do is centered around our kids it can be a challenge to redefine it!

  10. jotsfromasmallapt at 1:27 pm #

    Camp Goodriddance…unlike the Webers (see Dawn @ LightenUP! comment ) I don’t care where, or how much…Book-a-Bed for One!! Oh….Webers won’t mind…use their debit card!

  11. Prachi at 1:45 pm #

    Can’t do with them;can’t do without them

  12. The Laughing Mom at 4:52 pm #

    I like the term, “kidsick.” That I would be for 6 weeks! Is it really that long? Your posts are so well-written, I always fall for everything. Are you General Lee or Scarlett O’Hara? Good luck with that bed bug thing when they get back.

    • Not quite, though next summer she will. These days I’m more Sarah Lee than General Lee–made 4 chocolate chip zucchini breads last night trying to use up our surplus of squash. I reserved some of the chocolate so I can make chocolate covered bed bugs.

  13. My kids are too young to go to camp but I spent lots and lots, and lots, of time in camp as a kid, growing up in France. Think 4 to 8 weeks a year. Every year. Starting at the age of 6, I think. Some camps I stayed double time, watching the kids I came with go away and the new set of kids arrive. Camp can be fun and I have lots of good memories. I learned to swim and ride horses in camp. But spending that much time in camp definitely is not a good way to feel close to your family. I also don’t think my mother even felt kidsick while I was gone! 😉

    • Sounds like you’re a veteran camper. I never went when I was a kid and I feel like I missed out. But I hear your point–summer family bonding is also important. That’s why I’m going to have my kids help me with chores when they return.

  14. August McLaughlin at 10:10 pm #

    Ha! Terrific post. Do you happen to know Renee Shuls-Jacobson? She has related posts… 🙂

  15. editorkcb at 10:58 pm #

    Lisa, you don’t need the kids to come home – you’re turning into them! Very funny.

    • That might explain why I ate chocolate pudding for breakfast while flipping through National Geographic Kids magazine.

  16. the domestic fringe at 11:44 am #

    Oh, my goodness. The line about covering the toilet seat with paper made me laugh out loud for real. This is so funny.

  17. nursemommylaughs at 2:24 pm #

    “Remember the time Elizabeth left her underwear at the water park..” – Nice! If I had a dollar for every time I did that. Oy! That was such a different style for you and it was just as hilarious as ever. Great job and hold onto those undies, girls. It will only get you into trouble.

    • My undies got me into trouble too many times. That’s why I stopped wearing them.

      Tks for the nice words. You always bring me up. 🙂

  18. Sid Dunnebacke at 5:46 pm #

    Wait – we can send our kids AWAY? And bulldoze their dirty clothes out to the curb? Oh I wish you’d posted this in June.

    • Yes Sid, we can! And it’s much safer to bulldoze their dirty clothes out to the curb while they’re away at camp than while they’re wearing them.

  19. Audubon Ron at 11:13 pm #

    Hello Muddah,
    Hello Fadduh.
    Here I am at
    Camp Granada.
    Camp is very
    And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining.

    We sold out backpacks
    and now we’re in Ensenada
    We joined the Opera
    Singing La Traviatta

    Don’t come and get us
    We joined the circus
    Not for a discussion
    We knew we were Russian.

    • Thanks, Ron. I never knew the lyrics beyond the first two lines. Now I’ll be able to entertain my kids on the drive home. And I won’t stop singing it until they promise to write to me more often next summer.

  20. Katherine Checkley at 9:18 am #

    Great post! I enjoyed reading it. I love the line about reading War and Peace twice 🙂 Very creative, made me smile.

  21. Katherine Checkley at 1:03 pm #

    Hi Lisa, I nominated your for a Liebster award. Go to my blog to check it out

  22. mj monaghan at 10:42 am #

    I’m loving your sequence. So perfect. I hate to admit it, but it was always great when the kids went away for a while. They’re grown now, and what is the hardest is when the last one left the house (last November). Seems there would always be one left.

    Now I can appreciate the quiet, but there’s that sentimental side that recognizes, all to well, the rapid passage of time.

  23. earthriderjudyberman at 4:24 pm #

    This reminds me of Allan Sherman’s “Camp Granada” – except in reverse. “Camp is very entertaining. And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining.” By the song’s end, he was having a fabulous time.

    You’re right, Lisa. We think we’d love to have that “me” time. And, we do. But we soon have the empty nest syndrome. You wait for the letters. I wait for the phone calls and visits. It’s always so great when we get together.

    • I suppose kids have to spread their wings. And so do we parents. But we can still fly as a flock as much as possible!

  24. Sylver Blaque at 6:52 pm #

    When I went away to camp, I pictured my mom in a deep, deep depression sitting on my bed cradling my fave sweater & bawling like a lost kid. Guess I was right, huh? Poor mothers. What would they do without us?

    • That’s because knowing you, Sylver, you probably went to camp in some exotic country and she feared you’d never return. 🙂

  25. shovonc at 10:35 pm #

    She should probably have started them off with a shorter trip!

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