Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Michelle just got home from camp today. Stephanie is there for two more weeks.

Now a days, parents are allowed to email their kid at camp each day. Yeah, you get to pay$40 which allows you to try to come up with something to write them every night. It's like that damn Christmas Elf that you always forget to move. At 2 AM I awake - Dag gone it! Forgot the emails!!

I have convinced myself that all of the other 598 kids will be receiving a daily email from their parents. What if my kids are at rest period and have nothing from me? It could be traumatic. This is a huge summer stressor.

Year one I tried to write about my day. It went something like this:

I went to work. Came home. Watched TV. Changed underwear before I got in bed. Hope your day was good.

It was painful for me to write. It was painful for them to read. I mean seriously, what do you write to an 8-year-old every day for two weeks?

I've made a few changes in my correspondence over the years. Here are a couple of excerpts from my emails to Michelle in 2012:

July 15: When I left camp today I did not see many girls at tennis. That is good. Tennis is not a good thing to do at camp. You should not play tennis. Your friend might hit a tennis ball and it could land in your mouth. Then when I pick you up next Friday you wouldn't be able to say, "Hey dad! I love you so much." So do not play tennis.

Instead, I have a great idea for you to do at camp. Go to the infirmary. Tell them that you want to be a nurse when you grow up. Ask them if you can put on a nurse's uniform. Put it on. Then ask if you can give shots to campers. Find some campers. Give them shots. It will be fun. You can make people well. They will call you Nurse Michelle.

That is a better camp activity than tennis.

July 18: These are some things I think you should not do at camp:

Go down the zip line (it is too tall), ride in a motor boat (they are too fast), shoot archery (the arrows are too pointy). Instead try this:

Paint yourself red and go stand by the Camp Seafarer gate. When people drive up they will think you are a stop sign. They will slow down and stop. That will make everyone much safer. That is a fun and safe activity for you.

July 19: Here are some things that I don't think you should do at camp:

1) Do not go to arts and crafts. Glue is sticky and could get in your hair. That would be bad.

2) Do not look for shark's teeth in the shark's tooth pile. Sharks are bad and can bite you. You could bleed and go to the infirmary. They could be out of band aids. That would be bad.

Here is a really good idea for you to do at camp today:

Go to the bathroom. Use lots of toilet paper and take the cardboard paper roll. Go to another bathroom and use lots of toilet paper and take that roll too. Get some duct tape. Tape the two rolls together. Then put on khaki clothes. Go to the end of the pier. Look through the toilet paper rolls. See if you can see what color the sky is. If you can, go tell your friends in your cabin. They will be excited to know the color of the sky. You will be very popular if you do this.

July 20: There is some stuff that I don't think you should do at camp tomorrow. They are not fun activities. Do not go on a jeep ride. You could get dirty if you ride a jeep. And if it goes through the woods, there could be a big bear, and he could eat you.

Here is a better idea for camp tomorrow. I think it would be a good idea for you to go to arts and crafts and get some pink paint. Then paint your body and hair. Next go to the zip line. Crawl to the top and oink like a pig as you climb the steps. DO NOT tell the counselors you are a kid. Just oink. They will think a pig is going down the zip line. They will be amazed and announce it in the mess hall. But never tell them it was you! The next day paint yourself as a cow - they will be amazed again.

I've got to have some fun while they're gone.