I feel so horrible. What have we done? We just dropped Miss O off at a two-week music camp and I feel like the worst parent in the world.
She wanted to go. She begged us during the school year -- "Pleeeeeease? It sounds so fun! Emma's parents are letting her go!" She even got a partial scholarship. It seemed too good to be true -- one of the Crabbykids, voluntarily leaving home for two weeks?! Un-fucking-precedented!
Of course, as the zero hour approached, her doubts started creeping in. Would she make any friends? Could she handle being away from home for so long? Would the food suck? Why the shit were we making her go?!?!?!
So we attempted to talk her down. Yes, she would make friends -- she's always able to do that very easily, wherever she goes. Staying away for two weeks will be no problem -- she went for seven days to that shitty camp near Grand Haven a couple of years ago and she just got back from a different music camp for five days in June. Piece of fucking cake. Yes, the food would suck. And we were making her go because, 1, she begged us to send her there and, B, we already shelled out the dough and there are no refunds, so suck it up.
We drove her out there yesterday and the camp looked pretty great. It's in the woods, near a lake, lots of girls who look just like her walking around with their way-too-long hair and hipster glasses. True, the camp is forcing her to wear a uniform every day (light blue polo, dark shorts) but I kinda get that -- take the pressures of fashion one-upsmanship (one-upsgirlship?) out of the equation. The counselors had that classic combination of spunky pluck and musician-y nerdiness. 'Twas a perfect stew of campy good-timiness.
We walked around, visited the camp store, got some ice cream, met the cabin-mates -- it all seemed to be going swimmingly. Of course, we realized once we got there that we forgot Miss O's pillow, which sucked ass. Nothing that a mini ass-ripper of a round trip excursion to Target couldn't remedy.
And then it was time to say our goodbyes. Cue the waterworks. Miss O just melted and started sobbing. She didn't want to be there, she wasn't going to make any friends, by the time camp ends the summer is going to be over, 11 days was way too long, WHY THE SHIT WERE WE MAKING HER STAY THERE?!?!?!
What can you say to your whimpering kid right before you abandon them for two weeks? I mean, as I stood there trying to explain to her that everything was going to be fine and that camp would be over before she knew it, I flashed back to my camp days. My parents shipped me off to northern Minne-fucking-sota for FOUR WEEKS every summer, starting at age 10. TEN!!! What the shit?! Remember the saddest letter ever written? I was fucking miserable and it pretty much scarred me for life. Scars that have been explored by no less than two different therapists, mind you. And now, apparently, I'm paying it forward.
But there's nothing I can do now. All I can do is wait for 11 days to pass and see if she survives. That and write letters. Letters that I'm making sure don't paint home life as remotely interesting, fun or comfy. Letters that don't use the words "miss you" at all. Letters that don't allude to me, the Old Lady and Mr. Z doing anything together, as a group, in an enjoyable way. Letters that don't mention the dog.
Man, I hope she's having a good time.