The last two weeks of summer mean different things to different people. I want to preface this by apologizing to those who do not have children yet but do want them. I do not mean to be insensitive, and my heart is with you. Though I was blessed with three healthy boys, thank God, I am empathetic to your struggle, as I have been through my own.
That being said, this is an attempt at a humor column, so I hope that though your dreams of being a parent have not yet been fulfilled, I give you what to look forward to.
Okay, that just took an odd turn. Let us carry on.
If you have the luxury of sending your kids to sleepaway camp, the last two weeks of the summer are torture. How are you expected to keep up the 24/7 programming that you have been paying a second mortgage for? There is just no way that a day trip to Yankee Stadium or doing pottery could possibly keep these kids happy. And that is the goal these last two weeks. To keep these kids happy. Because happy kids have happy parents, and there are no two ways around that.
For those with little kids, the last two weeks of the summer are equally torturous as the first six weeks of the summer. There is nothing more adorable than an overscheduled 6-year-old who just wants some me time. But don’t worry, as they get older, it just gets better. Does it? Yes. I will go with that. But, thank God, I have been blessed with pretty great progeny. And pretty great progeny who enjoyed a week of basketball, a week of hockey, another week of basketball, another week of hockey. Of course those kids are now the grown-ups who enjoy a week of Gemarah, another week of Chumash, a week on the teachings of Avigdor Miller. It’s all good in the Oreo-hood.
But another passage of time is never more obvious than the last two weeks of the summer. When my boys were little, and their day camp situation was finished, to Sesame Place we would go. And it was darling. I was the shtark parent who would go around making sure there would be a minyan at the Grover Coaster. It was like a drug deal, but without the drug or a deal. “Hey, Yid? Mincha-4:30-Grover Coaster.” And that would be my main objective. Getting that minyan for my man. Because that is why he has stayed with me for all the years. My ability to spot the fresh haircuts after the Nine Days in a Staten Island Yankee game. What can I say? I have been blessed with many gifts and seeking out minyan men is the one my kids are the most proud of me for — unless, of course, I start covering my hair. Then they might sponsor a parade with fireworks.
After those Sesame summers, we might have graduated to Hershey Park, but that only lasted one summer, and then the Ganchrow Family baseball trips began. And that is how we spent the last two weeks of the summer.
I know that I have written about this before — the planning that Husband #1 put into these trips was above and beyond. He could have made a business out of it. The MapQuest printouts and the minyan printouts and the restaurant print outs — it was phenomenal. But the best part was the yellow legal pads that had everything written out on them.
So even though we did make fun of him, he did an amazing job, and we all had the best time. Except for when my suitcase was left behind and blah blah blah, nobody really cares. It was all amazing.
Now what happens when you don’t have kids in camp? When every week of the summer is exactly the same as every other week? No back-to-school shopping? No school supply lists? Well, if you are very blessed, you get to take care of a Strudel for two weeks. You know how much I had to bribe her camp director to end camp so I could take her to Teaneck for two weeks?
I am kidding, I didn’t have to bribe her. But I would have. Best summer ever!!!!! Hope yours has been as well!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck cannot believe that her baby, her real baby, is going to be 23 this week!!! Happy birthday to her favorite Son #3!!