Smartmom & OSFO apart for the 1st time

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For the first time in 10 years, Smartmom and the Oh So Feisty One are going their separate ways.

That’s right, the umbilical cord has finally snapped and Smartmom and her beautiful girl are spreading their wings and flying off to different locations for two weeks in July.

Well, it’s not like they’ve never been apart.

OSFO does go to school every day and Smartmom goes to her office. OSFO goes on playdates, to day camp in the summer, to birthday parties. Likewise, Smartmom has had dinners with friends and did spend a weekend at a Goddess retreat in the Berkshires.

But this is different: OSFO is going to a sleep-away camp in Vermont and while she’s away, Smartmom is planning a solo trip of her own.

It’s a scary thought — it really is — but it’s also an unbelievably exciting one. Smartmom hasn’t been on her own in years and years. And she’s looking forward to it with a thrill that verges on the orgasmic.

To be specific, Smartmom has booked a room on a top-secret island off the East Coast, where she plans to finish writing her book [Dumb Editor note: This is the first I hear of a book? I’d better be in the acknowledgements!]. She’ll also run, ride a bike and meditate. And then work on her book some more.

She plans to spend so much time alone she’ll probably get completely bored with herself. But, still, she wants to pursue her little writerly dream.

If you’re wondering about Teen Spirit, don’t. He’ll be home with Hepcat, but, Buddha knows, that kid barely needs his momma anymore. Besides, he and Hepcat did just fine 13 years ago, when Smartmom went away on a business trip. He was only 3 then. And Smartmom made it up to them by bringing Teen Spirit a really cool pirate sword and hat (Hepcat got a duty-free bottle of Scotch whisky).

No guilt-filled present will be necessary this summer. Teen Spirit has so much stuff lined up he probably won’t even notice that Smartmom is gone. Hepcat’s a big boy who can make it after all — not that he likes it, of course. And he has that typical male dysfunction whereby he forgets to eat, sleep, make the bed or do anything but work. Smartmom knows the apartment will look like a Greg’s Express jobsite when she comes back from her island getaway. But she’s willing to take that risk because OSFO is going to sleepaway camp.

Sleep-away camp? It seems incomprehensible: OSFO rarely has sleepovers and she still likes to fall asleep in her parent’s bed from time to time. She’s a homebody who loves the apartment, the stoop, the sidewalk on Third Street with a passion.

Truth is, she can still change her mind.

She certainly was dubious about camp at first. After Smartmom registered her for the two-week session, OSFO told her, “I was praying that they wouldn’t have room for me.”

But they did. And for months after, she didn’t want to talk about camp. It was becoming the giant chartreuse elephant with polka dots that no-one wanted to mention.

The big C.

Then last Friday night, out of the blue, OSFO asked Smartmom to read her the entire Parents’ Handbook from start to finish and when they were done, OSFO asked her to read it again.

Maybe it was the description of the baby farm animals they have at this camp. Little piggies, goats, calves, but whatever, she been excited ever since.

So for the first time in 10 years, Smartmom and the Oh So Feisty One are going their separate ways. They’ve ordered a hot pink duffel bag. Manhattan Granny is starting to iron nametags into her clothes. They’re going to Eastern Mountain Sports next week to buys a backpack and sleeping bag. Before you know it, they’ll be putting OSFO on the bus.

Is this really happening? Is it possible that OSFO is old enough to go to summer camp? Will she like her bunkmates? How will she feel about the composting outhouses and the lack of electricity? Isn’t she going to freeze at night in those open-air cabins? How will she handle the silent Quaker meetings every morning?

For that matter, will Smartmom enjoy so many days alone on an island facing her keyboard, trying to write. What if she gets writer’s block? What if there’s a big thunderstorm and she’s scared? What if she gets lonely?

What if she gets homesick?

Smartmom usually goes to bed with her little OSFO purring beside her and her big Teen Spirit playing his guitar in the next room. Her Hepcat is almost always at the computer desk in the living room. She watches one or two episodes of “Scrubs” (love that nasty Dr. Cox), sets the alarm, and drifts off to sleep.

Chances are everyone will do just fine. Even if they do get homesick and sad, Smartmom and OSFO are both certain to have an interesting time (like the old Chinese curse).

Louise Crawford, a Park Slope mom, also operates “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”
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