Sleepaway Camp Depression.
by Risa Green
My daughter has been at sleepaway camp for exactly one week. It has been the longest week of my life. In fact, every day seems to move in slow motion, causing each twenty-four hour period to feel more like seventy-two hours, so really, she’s been gone for three weeks, now. It’s like how when you’re in college, dating someone for a month is equivalent to almost a full year in regular-life time. I miss her so much that my heart actually physically hurts.
I used to go to overnight camp every summer for eight weeks, and my summers at camp were some of the best of my life. So I was (and still am) excited for her to be having that experience. But I never had any concept of how difficult it is for the parents. I mean, it’s not like I can talk to her. It’s two weeks of radio silence, just sitting around, wondering if she’s having a good time, hoping that the camp mom isn’t going to call to tell me that she’s homesick, but also kind of hoping that she will, just so I can get some information. I feel horrible now that I didn’t write to my parents more while I was at camp every summer. I remember dreading letter day – once a week, you couldn’t get into dinner without handing one in – and I was so busy having fun that I used to sit down and write at little as humanly possible. My brother outsmarted the system entirely – he used to just turn in an empty envelope every week. I can just imagine my poor mom, running to the mailbox, her heart leaping at the sight of his handwriting, and finding nothing inside of it. Ouch.
I got my own letter from my daughter the other day (finally!) and it, too, was devastatingly short and devoid of information.