When first they go off to dad camp I–admittedly–exhale. The pace slows to a half-hearted stroll. There is an eh-whatever mentality where once a gotta-get-it-done one ruled supreme.
There is the novelty of cooking for only three.
There are fewer piles of laundry.
There are lazy mornings. Empty schedules. Lots and lots of minutes to pass doing nothing.
There is quiet.
But before long the quiet gets unnerving. Through it I can hear the steady drip…drip…drip of a leaky faucet. The imposing tick…tock, tick…tock of the clock on the wall in the next room. And then I start to wonder what they’re up to. How they’re faring.
And just when I thought I might be able to get accustomed to the happy-go-lucky free and easy lifestyle I realize that no. I can’t. I don’t want to.
But there are reminders everywhere. In the still-made beds in their empty bedrooms. In the shiny faucets and toothpaste glob-free sinks of their bathrooms. In the hush of a phone not ringing to life announcing the calls of their friends. In the perpetually cleanness of everything. Everywhere.
In our house we have what my husband lovingly dubbed CRAP. The Cup Retention Action Plan. The idea was born out of necessity, really, after months of clutter on the counter tops. The kids would grab a cup for a drink of water and leave it on the counter. They’d come back an hour later and grab another cup for a drink and leave it, too. Jeff grew tired of the sea of plastic cups of which nobody would claim ownership. He established CRAP, assigning each child a designated cup color (Torri=pink, Kennedy=orange Cassidy=lime green Jayce=primary green or yellow). Unclaimed cups became a thing of the past.
One of the saddest things about dad camp is the monochromatic dishwasher. It makes me miss CRAP.
Torri came home early from dad camp, so that she could go off to summer camp with the youth group. She was home for just over 24 hours, as is evidenced in this picture of my pitifully CRAPless dishwasher.
Dad camp is nice. But not nearly as much so as the hustle and bustle, the go go go, the noisy, bickering, more-than-I-knew-to-hope-for fullness of my beautiful life. CRAP and all.