The letter I really want to send to my son at summer camp

*The theme is summer camp this week. My boys are here, there, and everywhere. I'm having a hard time with a few things. Come join me in my neuroses, will you? 

Dear Son,

It is your first time at sleep-away summer camp, and I'm so excited for you!

Well, I'm also a little sick to my stomach thinking about you being away from home for five whole nights and six whole days . . .but I digress. 

You've been so excited about this all summer and it's finally here! You get to be away from your brothers and spend the whole week with your BGF (best guy friend). And I wouldn't worry if I were you about what the bathroom facilities are like. Everyone poops - I'm sure it will be fine.

Dear god boy, for the love of all that is holy, try to poop faster, will you? I don't think you have 20 minutes every night to get your business done. 

Camp will be filled with so many new experiences - new games and songs and activities you've never tried. You will meet some new kids, too. That will be cool.

I know you just want to hang with your bestie, but try to talk to other guys, too. You never know, you just might meet someone really cool.

It's going to be really hot this week, and I know you don't like the heat. But stick it out. Everyone else will be sweaty and hot and tired, too. That's how you bond.

Seriously, remind me to show you 'Survivor' reruns. 

I put really cool-smelling shower gel and shampoo in your back-pack.

Please shower at least twice while you are there. And BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

It will be nice for you to have an experience that your brothers are not having. I know you're loving the thought of being away from them for a whole week. And yes, I will keep them out of your room and away from your Legos.

Try to find a better attitude while you are at camp, too, seriously dude. You do not need to be snapping at all of us all the time. The summer is far from over. Believe me, it will be a break for us, too. 

I can't wait to hear about all the activities you tried and the food you ate and the friends you met.

Please, please tell me more than just, "It was fun," when you get home. I'm a girl - I NEED DETAILS! And I know the brochure said "all you can eat," but go easy on the buffet, Pal. 

I want you to remember what we talked about regarding good and bad touches and being alone with any of the counselors or guys you don't know. You are smart, so be safe. That is why I put that card in your suitcase with Mom and Dad's contact information. Mom and Dad will always have your back, NO MATTER WHAT. You can tell us anything.

Except if you call us the very first day and say you want to come home. Then we may have some questions for YOU, kid. 

Try to keep an open mind and an open heart. Believe in yourself. Believe that you deserve to have fun and make friends. Believe that you can try new things and succeed. Believe that it won't be the end of the world if you fail or that one jerky kid laughs at you.

Remember what I told you about kids who make fun of other kids? They are not happy with themselves, so they have to make someone else feel miserable just to make themselves feel better. How sad is that? Never be that kid. Be better than that kid. 

The week is going to fly by before you know it, and it will be time to come home.

Who am I kidding? I know we'll both be a little miserable wishing you were home, but this is an experience that not every kid gets the chance to have. We can both stick it out. 

I promise I will write every day so that you will get mail for daily mail call . . .

 . . .starting tomorrow because I already forgot to send something for today. 

I hope you will write me, too.

Your dad promises to hide my red teacher pen so that I don't correct your letter and send it back. 

I can't wait to talk to you at the end of the week.

Remember Kid, DETAILS!

I love you,

 . . .with all of my heart and soul. So much that I feel a little empty without you here. 


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