“What are you signing the boys up for this Spring Break?” everyone kept asking me as the last day of school crept closer and closer. That question alone makes me wonder what wonderful art or science or sport adventure I’m failing to keep my bunny tail up about. That simple query puts an unspoken pressure on the two-week gap in learning. I’m getting the feeling that I would be remiss not to fill that gap with the most brain-building, once-in-a-lifetime experience for my children. They can’t possibly just need some downtime from the hustle and the bustle of their grueling schedule? They wouldn’t benefit from sleeping in, hanging out in their pajamas around the house all morning, and then hitting the park for some quiet ball kicking or the beach for some lazy afternoon sandcastle building?
I admit I looked closely through the newspaper, the Internet, and Los Angeles Parent magazine, reading the descriptions of all the camps. Some of them sounded so amazing, I thought that I myself would even enjoy them. Who knew there would be a camp where the children could go horseback riding while simultaneously performing in Les Miserable, or they could go fishing, and then learn how to make sushi with that fish? One of the swim camps had the boys and girls swimming the English Channel (which is on my bucket list), but upon closer review it turned out that it was actually Malibu Creek. A home improvement camp sounded interesting, until I read that it meant that the campers would be cleaning the homes of all the staff.
Anyway, most camps run for maybe six hours per day, so in a week 30 hours will cost you around $525 or more, plus hidden material charges, insurance, and/or food charges. That’s creeping up toward $20 per hour, money that I decided to pocket and use while my sons enjoyed Camp Daddy.
Camp Daddy begins with a good night’s sleep. If campers go to bed at 9pm the night before (which is nearly two hours later than when my boys normally go to sleep), then the campers cannot get out of bed any earlier than 9am. Spring Break is a time to re-energize, recuperate, and recover. There’s a reason it’s in the spring!
Next is breakfast, which is open for discussion since there is no rush to get to school, no carpool to catch, and no need to shove bars down their throats while they get dressed. They can eat their Lucky Charms at a leisurely pace, one bowl or even two, with plain milk or even chocolate, and yes while watching SpongeBob (even though each episode must kill a few brain cells). We can cuddle on the sofa and even Daddy might join in the laughter.
Getting dressed for the day is next, and go ahead boys! Make it the circus act that you’ve always wanted it to be. Take your time, and then come back downstairs wearing a purple and white striped shirt with red shorts. Enjoy yourself in your favorite size 4 shirt on your size 8 body. There’s no judging at Camp Daddy. You are what you wear, and right now you’re on vacation, so look like it.
We’re off for the outside world, and at Camp Daddy this is their playground. Whether it’s the beach, one of the ten parks in our city, or a friend’s house, go with the wind. Let your pleasure guide you, my sons. We have no clock, no pressures, and no worries. We can swim at the city pool, ride our bikes on the boardwalk, or hang out for hours in the library. We can fly kites, catch butterflies, or even play at the expansive backyard at Camp Daddy.
As we’re rounding the bend for the home stretch of Spring Break, I can see that the boys are starting to miss their classmates and some of their usual karate lessons and basketball practices, but not enough to prevent them from enjoying their days at Camp Daddy. They’ve been expressing some deeper feelings about a life without a Mommy, their desire for a pet dog, and their dreams for the future, all because we’ve had some extended quality time to share. At Camp Daddy we take these thoughts very seriously, and we take this opportunity to offer the boys an even more in-depth experience that we offer here at Camp Daddy, where they can really open up to Daddy and Papa and make memories to last a lifetime: Summer Vacation.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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