Today was the last day of tennis camp.
I did not send treat bags for all the kids.
I did not bake cookies shaped and decorated as tennis balls.
I did not bring special activities to add to the camp fun, like bubbles or hula hoops.
I drove up in my SUV, and did not get out. I was in my pajamas and slippers. I pulled to the curb. I said goodbye for the day. That was pretty much the extent of my part.
I sat there – in my car and dressed in pajamas – and watched one of this year’s Cool Moms schlep 40 pool noodles in for the each of the kids. I thought it was sweet of her, as she then returned to her car to take out two crates of cupcakes. She took one out and gave it to another Cool Mom – who had brought treat bags for all the kids. The cupcake had a fondant tennis racket on the top of it.
I thanked my lucky stars I’m not the Cool Mom anymore.
I did not take photos. Individual photos, group photos – I did not take any.
I did not weep that another summer is already showing signs of coming to a close.
I just drove off, never having gotten out of my car.
After I got home, I watched a couple hours of Perry Mason.
I did not text the camp coach to see if I could bring anything to make the last day special.
I did not join the kids for their last camp lunch of the year.
I turned leftover taco meat and a couple slices of American cheese into nachos and watched another episode of Perry Mason, spilling half the contents of my nachos on my shirt.
Somewhere around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, I came to.
I realized I only had two more hours until camp was over. I checked my cellphone. My daughter had texted me a photo of the pool noodle, cupcake, and treat bag the Cool Moms had given her.
I saw a huge tag hanging from the pool noodle: “last day of tennis camp gifts from Madison.” I remember putting a tag like that on some random Cool Mom bullshit in years past, myself; and I realized that Madison (six, bratty) could literally give zero shits about 95% of the kids there. Including mine.
I spent the last two hours of this year’s tennis camp taking a shower, putting on yoga pants and a tank top, and heading to the country club for pick up. The shower was extra long because I got sidetracked trying to see if I could make my voice sound the same as the Barbie singing in the shower of our new Barbie Dreamhouse.
I did not stop to get out of the car for the teary mom goodbye going on in the parking lot.
Again, no photos; in fact, my phone was dead.
And as I went to get out of the SUV to at least walk into the swimming pool area to collect and move on with our lives for another year, I realized I had no shoes on.
As in, I forgot to put on my shoes when I left the house.
So I honked the horn and within two minutes we were back on our way home.
The thing is: I have been the Cool Mom before.
I have baked the cookies and arranged the parties and rolled the fondant shapes to coincide with the theme; and I have schlepped the cupcakes and texted the teacher to see what I can do and come for the last day of lunch; I have hung up the streamers and made the tags on the sides of the pool noodles that say “last day gifts from…”
I have sat up late at night putting together treat bags for no occasion other than Friday.
It’s someone else’s turn now. I pass that torch, willingly.
I’m burned out. I’m tired. I’ve seen kids not appreciate what the Cool Mom does one too many times.
And given my inability to remember to even wear shoes when I leave the house, I’ve obviously got other things on my mind.
Or maybe it’s that I’ve entered a new era of parenthood. One that is less over-involved and more willing to let go.
One that does not spend all my time obsessing over my kids’ lives and activities and social functions, and finds a healthy balance between being there and being overbearing.
One that lets my “Me Time” (if there really is such a thing) actually be about me.
I’m OK with this, whatever it is. Of course a few weeks from now I’ll probably bake some crazy Pinterest-worthy cupcakes out of a sense of guilt that I opted for mediocrity, rather than stepping up to the plate at tennis camp this year.
But for now, I’m OK with just being Mom.