Why is Sending Kids to Sleepaway Camp so Freakin Stressful?

Camp IntroCamp Intro
Sending the kids to camp is supposed to be this delightfully awesome time of freedom and reprieve, but it's not for me.

So, as you can tell from the last post, (Confessions of an Irrational Mom), I've been totally anxiety stricken lately. I wasn't able to put my finger on why, until I looked at my finger and saw that I'd done this to my beautifully manicured gel nails.

Not so pretty gel mani

Then it dawned on me, it's camp. Sending my son to camp makes me mildly certifiable.

Knowing I have NO control over whether my baby puts on sunblock, brushes his teeth, eats Fruity Pebbles everyday for breakfast lunch and dinner, runs with flip-flops on rocky terrain, doesn't make the inter-camp baseball team, or gets made fun of.

Look, I get it - those are all the reasons I sent my son to camp (well, not the made fun of stuff, but the other stuff): to get some independence, to make new friends, to have fun, to get away from us, to get away from fighting with his sister, to have unique experiences, to learn that he doesn't need us reminding him of every little thing.

I GET IT.

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But this is the same child who asked me to pack him a comforter for camp this year.

Me: "Um, I packed you a comforter last year, I bought it specifically for camp."

Him: "Nu-uh, you just sent that Yankees blanket."

My son had spent the summer in upstate NY shivering under a throw, which could've barely covered a crib and never thought to ask a counselor if they'd seen something a bit warmer in his bag or write us to inquire as to why he's the only kid without something to sleep under.

So, I do get the logical stuff, but I also know kids.

Plus, there's an illogical part of my mind that's hard to argue with, as it's already been established that it doesn't believe in what makes sense to begin with. Hence warranting the moniker, "illogical."

That's the part that tells me not to take Xanax on a plane because I may need all my wits about me to save my family, other passengers, and possibly help land the darn thing.

That's the part that heard my son say at the airport on the way to camp last year, that he'd just used the money I gave him to buy Jolly Ranchers, and all I could think was, really, you had to get hard candy?

There I was about to send my son to camp to be alone for half a summer, and I was worrying about the choking hazard of hard candies, oh, the irony.

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When I went to camp, I never considered what the parents were dealing with. They didn't even have daily pictures to wait for at all hours of the night - to scour for smiles, joy, and proof that their children were safe and still at camp. Frankly, I don't know how they survived the summer without that modern perk!

To be fair, I got the feeling those parents were mostly happy to get rid of us. They embraced their freedom, taking trips abroad and doing whatever it was parents did without us around in the 80's - smoked cigarettes and went to key parties, I'm assuming.

Some moms still do, embrace their freedom, that is. (I don't know much about modern-day key parties, though I hear swinging is making a comeback.) Anyhoo, I hate those chicks ... the moms that see this as a chance to get some space, maybe take a trip, see if they still love their spouses, their too evolved.

You know the ones that aren't worrying if their kids will choke on hard candies, or about the plane, or bus, or neglected hygiene, or trouble with social interaction, or bad choices, or sunburns, or not making teams, or the other myriad of things one could stress over. Those mamas are confident in the logic that says, their children will have a great/safe summer, and they will enjoy the reprieve, it's too effortless and uncomplicated, and normal for me to grasp.

So, I'll do what the other stressed out worriers do: Try to enjoy my days and stay up 'til all hours waiting for pics to download and pushing refresh to see if new ones have posted in the last second, I'll send an email at least once a day trying to make mundane stuff like, what the dog is doing, where we found the cat hiding and what we had for dinner, seem fascinating. OH, and hope that he has as an awesome summer.

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Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog is the humorist behind the award winning site, The Suburban Jungle. A caffeine addicted card carrying Gen Xer, on air lifestyle expert for NBC, and columnist at Huff Po and The Stir, her goal is to you keep herself sane. Oh, and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both. Join the insanity on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.