With our trunks almost completely packed and our Target and Wal-Mart runs behind us, my boys and I are getting into camp mindset. In a few days they’ll be off on those buses heading up north into the countryside for two months of freedom from dad. I remember those summers fondly and feel very lucky to be able to give my kids that same experience. The time apart gives them the independence they crave and need and at the same time affords me some alone time to breath and catch up on life. I can also take great comfort in knowing that the distance between us will only make us closer when we see each other again on visiting day.
As a kid I lived all year for my two months away in the Berkshires. I loved the smell of the place after a rainstorm. I loved the feel of the cold lake water on me as I took a running start and jumped in. I loved my camp friends and to this day stay in touch with many of them. The raids on girls’ camp, mud sliding, the soccer games and canoe trips — those are all part of my childhood memories that will be with me forever. And it is those same adventures that I write about in my books Summer Sleep Away and its sequel That Same Summer. I wanted to capture those moments in time and preserve them forever on paper and as my memory begins to fade and those childhood years grow ever more distant, I take much comfort in knowing that that part of my life still lies between the pages of my books.
I wish my kids a great summer as I wave goodbye to them when they board the bus. I turn my head and wipe my sleeve across my face — but not because I am sad…I am happy for them to go capture their own summertime memories.