Summer Is Long, And I’m Afraid This Year I’ll Go Insane.


They cancelled summer camp.

“They,” this time, is the camp where I enrolled my kids, announced this morning that they are cancelling camp this summer. 


When they announced school would be closed until May, I had a panic attack and fled the house. When they closed my husband’s work through June 15, we went into a spiral of planning and applying for loans.

When, unsurprisingly, they cancelled the rest of the school year, I wept myself to sleep.

Cancelling camp is peanuts compared to all that.

I fired up my email and requested a refund. I would like to say I donated my tuition, but, as previously mentioned, we have some cash-flow hurdles lately. Hopefully the camp will survive and, someday, we can attend. 

As I hit send and attempted to motivate my kindergartner for distance learning today, my shoulders started to ache, a tell tale sign that I’m stressed.

No camp. No distance learning either. Don’t get me wrong, I hate it, but at least it’s SOMETHING to do.

My daughter LOVES getting the feedback from her teacher and enjoys the videos she posts on how to measure toilet paper roll towers or discussing a book on insects. She’s doing well with it, actually, as long as we keep the workload manageable. 

But summer looms, stretching and yawning ahead of me.

Summer has always been hard. The lack of structure and a natural aversion to wearing shorts and sunscreen, paired with the intensity of hanging out with kids all day every day always made me a little batty.

But, now, after we are enduring months of it on the front end, to have to go on until….August? September? Longer? 

I’m not scrambling for child care. I’m not working this summer.

I could go on to somehow justify this to my readers, who don’t know that I’m a freelance teacher/tutor, about how I won’t be working on theatre since there is no theatre and my other job was temporary and how there’s a hiring freeze for the places I applied for next school year.

I don’t have to exhaust you with those details.

But, summer is long.

Before, we had some camps to break up the days, give them a chance to learn something new, work on social skills, and be active. On days off and weekends, we took day trips to the woods and the beach.

We camped. We rafted. We played in all the various parks with friends, trying out all the splash pads. I think none of that is on the table, now.

I will go insane. 

There’s no amount of Pinterest nature-based-art-activities that can save me now. 

As much as I’d like to say we can watch TV all day, that really doesn’t work for my super physical kids. Don’t get me wrong, they’re watching TV while I write this, but then we’re going to do some nature-based-art-activities until I can’t handle the mess anymore. 

Because it needs to be said, let me be clear…I support social distancing.

I am NOT saying we need to “Open America.” I am NOT saying I have it as bad as those who are sick or working with the sick.

I am, however, saying, let’s take a pause, for all of us, and acknowledge that we do not have to hold it together right now. It’s okay that we grieve this, the death of summer camp.

Yes, survival is the goal, but LIVING, as we know it, is forever changed. 

Parents, take a breath. Have a cry. Have a drink or a valium for all I care. Hug the kids, or let them watch another episode. Take care. 


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