Confessions of a Worry Wart

Thursday, July 25, 2013

School’s out, the kids are at a sleep-away camp,* and I should be celebrating. Parents I know use the freedom to revel in tidier homes. They travel, they watch adult movies, maybe even finish their sentences. What do I do? I worry.

Maybe there are legions of closet worriers out there. Maybe we all are, to some degree, just pretending to be carefree, easygoing, and happy to be rid of our kids for a while. Maybe my preoccupations aren’t all that original at all. Or are they?

When a friend proposed a Girl Scout nature camp near Tahoe to me, I considered for a bit, assuming that this too shall pass. What was she talking about? We don’t pack our kids off to the woods on their own for a week! I know, I know, “a week is nothing,” you are thinking. You know people whose kids go off for the entire summer!  Well, I know people whose kids go to boarding school for years. But we haven’t really had a primer for this.

Neither Srini nor I went to camp. The only “camping” we know is what I did with my parents – and my chachas and mamas and cousins.  It was like an Indian wedding, only in the woods. While the neighboring campers roasted hot dogs on sticks, we feasted on chole, naan, and yogurt. We sang Hindi songs around the campfire and and told jokes in our broken Punjabi. Mummy packed our white linens to sleep on, and meticulously scrubbed everything when we got home.

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