Kate Meyers: By the time my 15-year-old and 12-year-old walked through the door to the jetway to board their plane to summer camp, we were all ready for the moment. They had spent enough unstructured summer days, enough sleepover nights and sleep-in mornings, enough hours of mind-numbing Disney television (they don't get to watch mind-numbing Disney television during the school year) that we were all excited and grateful for their journey to the beautiful woods of Wisconsin and a life unplugged with lots to do and lots of girls from all over to do it with.
I was so happy and excited for them, because they were so happy and excited. And then I got in the car and the world was suddenly very, very quiet. A nice quiet, the relieved quiet of a job well done -- packing duffels, arranging logistics with their dad, watching their confidence and delight as they headed off. And I suspect that if you're lucky enough to get your kids through high school and out the door, you feel that, too. I don't have that pit-of-the-stomach sadness that they're off for good, and I know I'm not ready for that.
I do, however, love the temporary break. I can catch up with old friends and work. I have time to shave my legs and read the paper. I'm thinking that maybe I'll even learn to dry my hair so it looks nice. Probably not. I don't mind that, either, because if I succeeded in looking too together, my daughters might not recognize me when they walk back through the Jetway.