Short Hills, NJ (June 18, 2018) – Although the brutal winter of 2018 debilitated enormous swaths of the Northeast and left millions without power for upwards of three to four weeks, thousands of summer camp parents are finding a silver lining in that devastating cloud. What, for most, was supposed to be three to four days off between school and camp, has now been whittled down to just a half day as the school year has been extended to Friday, June 22nd. If a parent plays his/her cards correctly, he/she can almost completely avoid parenting until the middle of August.
But for some parents that half of a day where a child is no longer a student but not yet a camper is a bit too much to handle. Those seven or eight awake hours with their offspring can feel like weeks, if not months, of hellish torture knowing that sweet relief is just one night’s sleep away. While this year’s transition period is much shorter than those of the past several years, there does not seem to be enough white rose wine to turn forward the hands of time.
“My kids get home on Friday at three so I’ll be half in the bag by 2:30. Both are going over to strategically-scheduled hangouts at friends’ houses after school til seven. We’ll then have a family dinner at some crappy place my kids want to go where my buzz will hopefully turn into incoherent slurring sentences and monosyllabic grunts about how much I’m going to miss them, then I’ll go home and pass out by ten leaving the nannies responsible for putting them into bed,” detailed Jenifer Rosenfeld, 43, of Syosset whose two children Skylyr and Rayvyn, will be attending Camp Huron Lake for their third summers. “With any luck I’ll be up just in time for the ten minute drive to the bus at some overcrowded parking lot where I’ll pretend I’m going to be a sloppy mess without them around all summer when, in all actuality, within fifteen minutes of arriving back home I’ll be polishing off case of rose with my girlfriends while waiting to see pictures from camp so I can post them on Facebook so everyone can see what a wonderful mom I am.”
With an average bus drop-off time of 10 am on Saturday, many parents have approximately eight non-sleeping hours to avoid their children. Some encourage their kids to take extra-long showers or binge watch a favorite show in the basement into the wee hours of the morning while others send their kids to bed before the sun goes down or, themselves, go out with friends they “accidentally” made plans with and cannot cancel. Individual strategies differ from family to family, but the one constant in all is the blatant attempt to kill time until that charter bus slowly drives away from waving, elated parents.
Local mother, Alyssa Burnbaum, displaced from her home for three months following a snapped tree limb that crashed through the roof of her Millburn home, successfully petitioned the Board of Education to extend the school year much to the chagrin of non-camp parents. She failed, however, in her quest to have students attend school for a few hours on Saturday before the camp buses arrive. In lieu of school, she will be dropping her kids off at her in-laws for breakfast and final good-byes before picking them back up for the drive to the Livingston Mall. When her mother-in-law asked what time Alyssa and her husband drop them off on Saturday her reply was simply, “Not early enough.”