Nesting on Empty

Shhh. S’very very very quiet in the Yenta house right now.

No bickering. No interrupting. No one using my bathroom mirror to style his purple hair and no one kvetching about how walking the dog is an unreasonable chore.

I expected this vacuum of sound after we dropped both children at sleepaway camp yesterday.The build-up to that moment — frantic weeks of packing and stamping their underpants with their names and debating whether they actually needed two toothbrushes or could get away with one — was only devoid of beatings because it contained the promise of ten whole days of silence.

Looking forward to this block of peace, I handled the complete neurotic chaos of several sets of Jewish parents helping their 8 year-old daughters unpack in a 20’x20′ cabin quite well, although I may have had to get all Mama Grizzly at a dad who tried to muscle in on all the shelving. (Dude, there are THREE shelves alloted per person so get your freakin’ Hannah Montana towels OUTTA my kid’s territory before I show claws, k’?)

Knowing I would have hours upon hours of calm in the next week and half, it didn’t even bother me that El Yenta Man ordered the treyf-iest item on the menu while at dinner with the kosher-keeping parents of Yenta Boy’s friends the night before camp. (EYM chastised himself, afraid that he might have embarrassed our son, who turned out to have also ordered the bangers and mash. The other parents just shrugged and ate their shrimp cocktail.)

After we met everyone’s counselors and gave a last family squeezy sandwich hug, we tried not to sprint with glee to the car. I’ll miss my monkeys, especially my baby girl, but seeing as she was already engrossed in a game of Go Fish with her bunkmate I think she’s going to be plenty occupied. I’m pretty sure we left skid marks when we left.

So the shmo who wrote the blog post “Sleepaway Camp is a Dumb Idea – Unless You Hate Your Kids” can suck it: I love my kids, I loved camp – especially Jewish camp – and I’m so happy my kids get to make friends with people from all over the world and learn songs and enjoy a little time where making massive amounts of noise is encouraged. And yes, Helicopter Blogger Dad, it never hurt anyone’s marriage to have a little break from the kids.

Except it turns out a quiet house might be more nerve-wracking than a full one.

“This is weird,” whispered El Yenta Man last night while we were eating a dinner of champagne and cut-up cucumber and potstickers from Trader Joe’s. (See that? No main course. PARENTS ON THE LOOSE.)

“Totally,” I whispered back, distracted by sort of background thumping and squalling with occasional snippets of 80s music. “Do you hear that, though?”

EYM cocked his head. “That’s the dog breathing.”

“No, not that…What is that noise?!” I jumped up and checked the fan. Nothing. TV? Off. The AC? Its usual low hum.

That’s when I realized: Oh my gawd. I can actually hear myself think.

And I’m not sure I like it.








3 thoughts on “Nesting on Empty

  1. Ha! You are so right—how to enjoy that gorgeous silence, that amazing peace that first descends, assaults you when you first get home and it’s just you, the grown-ups, in the place? My three boys are big now and nobody goes to camp anymore but when my son heads back to his base (we live in Israel and he’s stationed up north on the Hermon) it is always an adjustment. Still, I love it when he’s away and I love it when he’s home. And then there’s the youngest of the three who is busy being an annoyed adolescent, so the fun continues. When we lived in Connecticut, they’d all scream and howl over having to go to camp but off they went and always loved it. And so did I! Mazal tov on your escape back into a quiet house…at least for now.

  2. OMG I always loved sleepaway camp SO MUCH. I never went to Jewish camp myself (camp was practically Jewish anyway since so many of the other campers were Jews, too), but I have very fond memories of my experiences at both camps I attended as a kid. Working at camp was amazing, too…like getting paid to be a camper! Also, I know my parents were just like y’all when dropping me off: super-excited! Hahaha. They then had 3 weeks to themselves and would travel all over the place, sending me letters and postcards from their road trips.

    Anyway, I hope the Yenta kiddos are thriving at camp and that you and Yenta man are diggin’ it, too!

  3. Pingback: Nesting on Empty, Redux | Yo, Yenta!

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