For the last three summers, my now teenage daughter has gone to sleep-away camp. Not just any camp, mind you, but pony camp — all horses, all the time. Three weeks of unbridled (get it?) equestrian adventure. Three weeks surrounded by girls as horse-crazy as she is. For her, those three weeks each summer flew by. For me?
Not so much.
Oh sure, it was nice to go out with friends at the spur of the moment. It was nice not to have to play chauffeur. It was nice to spend some quality time with the spouse. But mostly, I thought about my daughter, missed my daughter, wrote letters and sent packages to my daughter, and pretty much counted down the days and eventually hours and minutes until I'd have my daughter back.
Two words: Sucker Mom.
This past year, we finally made the monumental (monumentally monetary, that is) decision to purchase a horse. Yikes! In doing the rather daunting math associated with said purchase, my husband and I assumed that the several thousand dollars we have spent on camp would no longer be an expense — and this would make a dent in the costs of acquiring and maintaining the gigantic new pet. Our daughter, on the other hand assumed she would still be going to camp. Not only that, she assumed that we would also send the horse!
Three words: No Way, Jose.
After many months of pleading, cajoling and downright whining, she finally got the hint. Camp started yesterday ... without her.
Now, lest you think my daughter is having a deprived summer of Dickensian proportions, let me give you some perspective:
We went to London.
We went to Paris.
We went sailing on a windjammer in Penobscot Bay.
She's taking a digital photography course.
She's in a book club.
She rides virtually every day
She has a horse show virtually every weekend.
She goes to the beach.
She goes out on our boat.
She has sleepovers.
She has electronics. (Oy vey, does she have electronics!)
Have you ever heard the world's tiniest violin? This ain't no Little Nell, folks.
Of course, with all this summertime activity, there has been very little time for ninth grade required reading or bed-making. And, it also comes with much scheduling chaos for yours truly. "What do you mean you're supposed to be in New Hampshire next week not this week? But that conflicts with Grandma's visit, our tickets for Annie, and my agency's big new business presentation."
Then there's all the driving, lots and lots of driving. Thanks to my daughter's schedule, I can now recite the location of every coffee shop that has WiFi in a five town radius. I have become extremely adept at juggling pick-ups and drop-offs and conference calls. (Oh my!)
But after a long day of enabling my daughter, when I finally fall into bed — and fall, by the way, is the exact word I'm looking for — I sleep better. Much better.
Because she is not in some bunk in Vermont; she is right here, under my roof.