Hangin’ with Kim and Khloe? Not Exactly.

Posted by mwallach on July 2, 2011 in My Kids |

Dear That’s Life,

Every time I hear the theme song for a kids television show watched over and over again in my home, I wonder in what alternate universe does summer vacation really exist for 104 days. It seems to me that getting kids ready for sleep away camp and packing trunks is a chore worthy of a higher degree – and camp is only seven weeks long. If the kids were off for a full 104 days, as they sing in the song, trunk packing and clothing labeling would put us all up for sainthood.

As it is, my children think I am cruel for insisting they be part of the packing. Unlike many of their friends’ homes, camp preparation is a team effort. It is not a complimentary service that comes with membership. There are no elves that magically appear when a trunk needs to be prepped and t-shirts need labeling. Eager to get to camp, we all dance the same dance when trunks are picked up by otherwise unassuming teen boys whom we have never met, yet are greeted like they are long lost family. Upon hearing the release of the truck’s air break and knowing that it was not garbage collection day, I ran to the door, opened it with gusto and greeted these total strangers with an overly exuberant, “Am I happy to see you!” Within minutes, the bags were gone, my arms are raised in triumph and, like Entourage’s Johnny Drama, I scream, “Victory!” for the world to hear. From the number of posts on Facebook that day and the day before, it was clear that I was not the only parent dancing a jig and doing a cha cha after camp trunks had been picked up.

The time between school and camp is filled with nervous energy, as children go from highly structured days to mornings without alarm clocks. The impending start of camp compounded by the end of tests and homework, intense family time and loose days is a family’s Molotov cocktail. The first day or two are okay, as all unwind, enjoying the time off. After a couple of days, however, it’s a lot like ‘Lord of Flies.’ Parents are left wondering if the camp bus could come early – days early.

After a while, even the kids have had it. School being over is no longer enough to get someone through the day. Once the unwinding is done, it’s done. Stupidity becomes exciting, staring contests honored like an Olympic sport. Case in point: a recent conversation between my two daughters revolved around the Kardashians. (Yes, you heard me.) With Kim’s wedding looming, the tabloids cover each and every detail, filling column inches with continued stupidity.

For some reason, I now know that each napkin ring at the wedding costs $12, the total tab for the wedding rivaling the GNP of some small countries. I remind my kids every once in a while when they get wrapped up in things like this that money is only money. It does not buy happiness and it should not impress. Nevertheless, talk began about how we, the Wallachs, could become part of the Kardashian enterprise. Immediately annoyed and a direct result of the post-school unwind, I said I had no interest in being a part of any Kardashian anything.  It seems they contribute nothing to society, having not done a thing to actually earn their notoriety. They are Paris Hilton-esque: famous for nothing, yet adored by millions.

While I cannot figure it out for the life of me, with my level of irritation rising, my eldest daughter had an epiphany that thrilled her to no end. Refusing to back down from her plan to have us hang with Kim and Khloe, she decided that the first thing we needed to do was to change our names, as all Kardashians have names that begin with ‘K’. Obviously, we would be known as the Kallachs and I, wait for it, was now Kiriam. With each of us renamed, we were now fit for reality television and could be featured along with the rest of the gang. Pleased with themselves, the room quickly filled with giggles and fist bumping, certain that we could now make our television debut. For the rest of the day, they referred to each other by their ‘K’ name and if for no other reason, this conversation alone was proof that my kids needed to return to days of structure, starting with a bus ride, camp the destination.

The buses left on time this morning, taking my two eldest upstate, leaving behind my younger children who will be starting summer camp later this week. Suffice it to say, if the conversation begins again and my youngest daughter starts calling me Kommy, I may open camp early myself.  


As seen in the South Shore Standard July 2011

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