The Son left for camp yesterday.
It is a week-long resident camp, and this is his third year. We moved to our current town four years ago, and he goes to camp with his best friend from our previous town so they have a week together every summer. They are like St. Bernard puppies, rolling and playing and barking and sleeping, with big clumsy feet and lolling grins. It's about the cutest damn thing.
This past week, I was busy with a job interview and showing the house and getting Oldest Daughter to string camp every day, and I told The Son to get his camp bag packed. The camp sends a very specific checklist of what goes in the bag, and since this is his third year, I thought he could follow the checklist and get it done.
This was the Fatal Mistake.
He packed everything and had it sitting in the middle of his bedroom. I came up to review his items, and asked if he had everything in his bags. He showed me the list with double check marks next to everything in the "Required" section. The phone rang and I ran away, since we are doing the whole house-selling thing and I am doing the job-interviewing thing and the phone is kind of important right now.
I drove him to the campsite, over an hour away from home, and helped him carry his pillow, sleeping bag, backpack and duffel bag. He had shoes, he had bug repellent, he had sunscreen, he had a flashlight. We seemed to be on the right track. While we were standing in line waiting to come in, I overheard another mom say, "Oh, we forgot to bring a baseball cap!" and I thought "Damn, so did we!" but if it's just a hat we forgot, I could live with it. I checked him in, we met his friend, and we walked to the cabin.
We walked in, and The Son took a top bunk. I looked around, and every other bunk had a mini-fan on it. I seemed to remember sending a fan with him in previous years, but didn't do it this year. Whoops. The cabins are not air-conditioned, and it was already pretty muggy in there. Plus, I am sure it is hotter and muggier closer to the ceiling of the cabin. I thought of my son, suffering in the heat, tossing and turning on his big down-filled (translation - HOT) sleeping bag, listening to the other boys fans. Their moms are attentive and thorough. His mom has ADD and didn't even check his bag.
The counselors started shooing away the parents - we're all supposed to leave by 3:30 so the homesickness doesn't start and the helicopter parents are long gone before the kids start climbing "The Tower":
Actual photo of The Tower. The Son LOVES it.
I think about liability issues.
The shooing means I don't have time to check The Son's bag. Because I am already at camp, with no way of getting him the things he forgot, so it seems like a good time to check through his stuff and get distressed about what might or might not be in that bag. He's 11 - he cares more about the flashlight than he does the toothbrush (which I know he has). I get in the car and drive home, thinking.
By the time I get home, I know what he's missing. His swimsuit. At camp. With a pool. And a river. He went to the local pool with a friend on Thursday, and told me about how he had to dig it out of his packed bag, and I was willing to bet $100 that he didn't re-pack it. I got home, and my suspicions were confirmed. Swimsuit was hanging in the bathroom. The Son is the type of kid to get really upset about this type of thing. Crapola.
So what is on my list early Monday morning? Call the camp and be sure he can get a care package. Tell them he needs it ASAP. I am sure Carol on the line thought, "Yeah, yeah over protective HoverMom, they can't live without you for a week." I ran to the store to bought a new small fan for his bed. I found a baseball cap. I packed his swimsuit and extension cord for said fan. I drove across town to Priority ship the box of the things he forgot that could have been avoided had his mother taken 10 minutes to check his bag and the list of "Optional" items (like a fan). Sigh.
How did I miss the sign-up for the course on "Necessary Things To Know To Be a Mother"? Because I cannot do the following things:
- french braid or otherwise style young girls' hair
- separate important school paperwork from the crap
- get the kids to make their beds or put away their clothes
- switch summer clothes with winter clothes in a timely manner
- be organized in any way
- get current year school pictures framed before new ones are taken
- stop swearing
- not piss off the PTA