Missing your loved ones. Crying over it. Failing to enjoy the freedom that summer camp brings. I'm not talking about kids here, I'm talking about their utterly wussy, wimpacious parents, as mentioned in this piece that appeared in SF Gate.
The article describes a woman who, on bidding adieu to her 8-yr-old for 2 weeks, noticed that it wasn't the kids who were crying: "There were no children crying—just parents." The piece continues with the following:
These days, camp leaders and family counselors say it's an increasingly common dynamic. It used to be the homesick kid begging to come home from camp. While that still happens, they've noticed that it's often parents who have more trouble letting go[...]They call it "kid-sickness," a condition attributed in large part to today's more involved style of parenting.Kid-sickness. Barf. But I'm not surprised. We live in a wimpy-parent nation, where parental wimpiness abounds and, as such, will be disseminated to the children, wo in turn will either wimp our completely or, one can hope, rebel against their parents' clingy ways. Here's a real kicker of a paragraph:
The time and energy camp directors put into preparing parents for camp is now equal to the time they prepare children for camp," said Peg Smith, head of the American Camp Association, which works with about 2,600 camps nationwide.I wrote a little something about summer camp. Mind you, they call it "Camp" but it's just school and only for 4 hours a day and not (unfortunately) a sleepover scenario. I wrote about how thrilled I am to have this time of mother-child separation, which I absolutely need and which Crabtot absolutely needs. As expected I got a comment in there about how love is about being with your kids and some other tiddly coddlewash nonsense.
Oh, America! As a foreigner I have always admired and sublimated your practice of summer camps. As a child, I longed to attend one. The lakes! the horse-riding! The bunk beds in cabins! Meeting your identical-separated-at-birth twin! Having s'mores (so exotic to the foreigner)! The American Americanness of it all! And now we have parents wailing and gnashing their teeth. No wonder their kids weren't crying. They couldn't wait to get away from Mom and Dad and I don't blame them.
I think the clingy attachment-parenting-gone-berserk behavior exhibited by such parents smacks of selfishness entirely and love, not at all. Your job as a parent is principally and finally to encourage your child to live in the world. You do that by fostering independence. You give a hug and a kiss and tell them you can't wait to see them. Then, idiots, you let them go. That's what love is, not making kids feel they are the constant and total center of your universe, even if they bloody are. After they go you run off and do something grownup that you've been longing to do: like smoke in your car, or read some seriously uninterrupted Tolstoy or have a really big party or do something notable and grownup (or something very childish), or, fine, cry in your car if you must. The point is, you put a smile on your face for your child's sake and then go and get a life while you can. And if you can't think of anything to do with your time, then I'd say you have a problem.
But that's just me. I mean, I totally respect that we all have different takes on child-rearing. *cough cough* Seriously, camp parents who literally need counseling from the camp peeps when they say goodbye to the kids? What a bunch of tits.
On an equally depressing note, I now have to go do situps because I issued a challenge over here at my bloglet to do 5 mins of work a day on my "mom-flap." What's that? you say. Read and join, my lady friends...I have 21 people signed up at yahoo (where the Cookie bloglet also appears). Crap! I loathe, loathe, loathe tummy crunches almost as much as some folks loathe the advent of summer camp. But I'll go to great lengths to keep my bloglet job...and if this means crunches and push-ups, so be it. Gotta make my readers think I'm not allllll negativity and misery! CRABMOMMY CAN BE INSPIRING TOO!