Aug 21 2013
I am pleased to report that Lilly, our 10-year-old, is enjoying her time at overnight camp at this very moment. In fact… she looked ever-so-happy in a picture posted on their site yesterday… in a bikini …the kind that I don’t allow her to wear.
That’s right; I’m one of “those” mothers. My daughter can pick out whatever she wants at the store but knows that I have veto power. Like the president. Only without any provisions to override.
Except she has now figured out a way to get around my veto; borrow the forbidden bikini while she’s at camp. Away from Mama Dictator’s eyes. Very clever. However, she must have forgotten I’d see the photo when she was mugging for the camera.
BUSTED! Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 1 2013
The letter-writing baby herself.
When Jordana heard that one of her sons was homesick at camp and missing, of all people, his baby sister Orli, she quickly banged out this poem from Orli to tell him it was okay to miss her and that she was proud of him… and he’s been better ever since. Future at Hallmark, perhaps?
I know I’m just a baby, and everyone thinks I’m cheeky –
But look at me! I learned to write! I am SO DARN SNEAKY!
I took the books down off the shelf, and reading took no time!
And look how amazing I am now: I even learned to RHYME! Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 25 2013
Midnight, and the moonlight painted a white stripe across the bottom of the bed. It was a quiet summer night.
It was only if you listened closely that you could hear that most tell-tale of all camp-related noises: the muffled sounds of someone trying to hide that they were crying.
My husband raised himself up on an elbow in bed. “Wait a second–are you CRYING?” he asked me.
Um, well, yeah.
Um, well, yeah. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 22 2013
All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time read this week.
- The hoopla over the imminent birth of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s first child can be described as many things–exciting, over the top, extreme–but definitely not Jewish. JTA explores why many Jewish women avoid overt celebrations before the baby is born (including quotes from Kveller’s editor and several bloggers). (JTA)
- These days, many parents are extremely uncomfortable with male babysitters and opt for female sitters if they can. However, for much of the 20th century, boys were not only accepted as babysitters but preferred over girls. (Atlantic)
- As more and more overnight camps across the country ban or impose limits on parents sending care packages to their campers, parents have found more and more ridiculous ways to sneak forbidden items to their campers. (NYT)
- Apparently, if the CEO of a company is a male and has a baby boy, they will tend to pay about $100 less in annual compensation per employee. However, if they have a baby girl, there will be no reduction in wages. Weird. (NYT)
- Finally, a new parenting trend we can all relate to: CTFD–which stands for “Calm the F*ck Down.” (Jezebel)
Many, many people posted a link on Facebook to a Huffington Post Parents blogpost entitled, “Open Letter to My Daughter, the Camper.” In the piece, which is certainly nothing if not loving and fun, the father writing gives advice to his first-time overnight camper daughter. He tells her the proper way to roast a marshmallow, to try new things, to be herself and–repeatedly–to have fun.
This blogpost was a lot like a marshmallow in many ways–sweet and delicious, if ultimately insubstantial. I really don’t mean to come down like a wet blanket over the parade. But my boys are leaving for three weeks in a few days, and I find that I’m thinking about this a lot: what are my hopes for them? And what should their hopes be for themselves?
It’s the longest amount of time my boys have ever been away from home–and that’s saying a lot. I divorced their dad when they were toddlers and the boys have done the back-and-forth divorce vacation tango for more years than they haven’t. Moreover, it’s the first time they’ve ever been away without at least one parent within yelling range. That’s a big, big deal–both for me and for them. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 3 2013
In the old days, “independence” was something that happened to kids naturally. Children were swept into adulthood by responsibility–you grow up fast when you are responsible for the farm that gives your family food–or the tides of history. A kid has no choice, after all, but to grow up fast when their parents sent them to escape Russian Cossacks on a ship bound for America. They had no choice but to grow up fast when they were separated from parents by war, sometimes forever.
These days, in our coddled existences, we simulate circumstances of independence-generating separation by sending our children to overnight camp. These are supervised places chock full to the brim of fun where our children can, for a few weeks, live their lives without us parents around. Read the rest of this entry →