Summer Camp Grown Up Style

When Fric and Frac each turned 7 respectively, their father and I packed up their belongings and tossed them out of the house. Or shipped them to summer camp. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. They've been attending one summer camp or another ever since.

Our summers have always been fairly lazy, due to budget restraints, that large invisible piano tied to my arse and the fact I truly believe children need the freedom to run naked through the woods chasing their imaginary friends. I like to keep our summers low key.

Most of our past summers have been spent lounging around our pool, jumping on our trampoline, and being sprayed randomly with the garden hose. Ice cream cones and weed pulling, they both equal a summer well spent.

This summer has somehow morphed into an unruly beast and not just because it's been raining almost every day since summer finally began. Somehow or another, I've managed to become a slave to the smalls' schedules. I ordered a lazy summer from the catalog and instead was shipped one jammed with an itinerary that even the most organized and energetic mother would fear.

It would seem now that my children are entering the hallowed halls of high school they want to up their game. My feral little beasties inherited my competitive streak and want to dominate the courts come this fall in every sport known to mankind. After much haggling and begging (along with a few tears, some eye-rolling and the almighty "You just don't understand what it is like to be a kid!") my children have coerced their father and me into signing them up for not one but two sports camps each this summer.

Add to that, the lovely prestigious art camp my daughter was invited to attend and just had to go to otherwise her world would implode and the colours of her life would fade to dull shades of grey (her words, not mine) and a plethora of therapy appointments for the Jumbster and it would appear I'm about to spend the bulk of my summer getting intimate with the interior of my car as I drive my smalls everywhere.

My husband, bless his cotton socks, thinks this is fabulous. But only because he doesn't know how much anything cost and won't be home to ferry any of the kids to and from their camps.

I've already vowed 'never again!' and will book mark this post to read next year as a reminder of how I once lost my ever-loving mind.

As I was explaining (read: whining) to a girlfriend about my poor parental choices for our summer activities this year, my friend looked at me and shook her head in commiseration.

"You need a break," she said. "Too bad there aren't summer camps for grown ups."

And that, my friends, is when the proverbial light bulb glowed above my head and when inspiration hit.

Think Thelma and Louise. Only minus the criminal activities, the cool car or the cliff-diving deaths. And no young Brad Pitt. Okay, so it's nothing like Thelma and Louise. Whatever. I'm totally Thelma.

I'm packing my things, grabbing my friend and going on my very first ever girl friend bonding trip. No children, no conferences, no itinerary. Just two small town hosers in big city New York.

I totally want a Statue of Liberty hat as a souvenir. I'll wear it home on the plane.

I've never been to New York before and I'm a bit nervous actually. With all the traveling I've done this year alone and in the past, I thought I'd become a bit of a travel pro. I've got the tourist schtick down pat. But there is something intimidating and awe-inspiring about a concrete jungle.

I suddenly understand why my kids get so nervous before starting their summer camps far away. It's exciting. And a wee bit scary. Only my summer camp won't involve any arts and crafts, spontaneous musical medleys or sneaking out past curfew to make goo-goo eyes at the cute boys across the lake. (That happens right? I've never been to a summer camp and I only know what Disney's Camp Rock tells me.)

While I'm hoping to see a few of these, I'm more hoping to stay out of one of these.

So wish me luck. And if you've been to New York before, let me know what I should do and what I should avoid. Also, there won't be any actual romance at my kids' summer camps right? Because now I'm totally freaking out and worrying about some strange kids sticking their tongues into my preshus babies mouths and dying a little at the thought.