The other morning, my lovely Irish husband and I dropped our two girls off to summer camp and flew four hours away to San Francisco. As the plane taxied down the runway and climbed into the air I had an awful realization of what we were doing. We were running away! Ok, maybe I was doing the running. But for a moment, several in fact, I felt a sadness wash over me.
I’m not the kind of mom who gets rid of her kids for the sake of peace. They don’t go to boarding school, we don’t drop them with the in-laws for the weekend while we jet off to exciting places, and the only times they’ve slept away from home is when they’ve gone to a friend’s house for a sleepover. When my husband first brought up the idea of sending the girls to summer camp I hated it. “No way. Not going to happen.” These were my immediate thoughts but as the weeks passed and the time got closer it seemed alright.
On arriving to the camp, the kids were excited to leave us. Was this a good sign? Did it mean we’d done a good job raising them thus far and they were set to spread their tiny wings and flee the cozy Irish nest? Or, did it mean we are terrible parents and they’re happy to be leaving us? Oh, the worries an Irish mom can press upon herself. Whatever it says, when we kissed them goodbye and got into our rental car, I thought, “we can do this for 10 days”.
Ten days can be a long time. Then again, ten days can be just about right. We spoke to the kids’ camp counselors this morning. They’re having a great time. Our youngest is enjoying horseback riding and the freedom of being in a safe environ without her mom and dad peering over her anxiously. Our oldest is enjoying windsurfing, which is not something we would have thought she’d be at all interested in, and she’s also bonded well with the girls in her cabin. As for us, we’re good too. In fact, we’re great. That horrible feeling I had as our plane took off was long gone by time the plane touched down in California. San Francisco sans kids has been a good decision, it seems, for all of us.