I just learned the real reason my parents sent me to summer camp

Last night I had sex on my kitchen counter. I don’t say this to brag (although, let’s face it, it’s kinda cool). I don’t say it to be gross either. All counters were fully cleaned before any food products touched them, I promise. I more say it because I can’t believe it. After 15 years together, 13 years of marriage and three kids, two of whom are hyperaware of every time Mommy so much as looks at Daddy in a randy way, I thought our countertop banging days were long behind us.

Of course, that was before sleepaway camp. God bless sleepaway camp. All those years I wondered as a child whether my friends’ parents were sending them away just so they could have time to themselves, I now know the answer without a doubt. And it is yes. Yes, yes, yes. How sweet it truly is.

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Don’t get me wrong. I miss my children terribly. I write to them every single day and send them little gifts all the time. I think of them and cry from time to time. But I still have my youngest child here, though at 2, she’s really much easier than the bigger two. And I have my husband. The time we’ve had alone together is like nothing we’ve experienced in years.

For the first two weeks they were gone, we were staying at my parents’ lake house. My sister was also there. That means there were five adults constantly hovering over one toddler. My husband and I saw movies together. We went shopping. We had lunch alone every day in town and went for hours of paddleboarding fun far away from the family.

And, of course, the sex. It wasn’t all on kitchen counters. But it’s been much more leisurely and spontaneous than it’s been in years. We’ve been making cocktails and watching movies after 7 p.m., when our toddler goes to sleep. We’ve been chatting more and laughing more and cuddling and staying up late rather than falling into bed, exhausted, by 9 p.m. I can’t complain.

Back in the day, I resented camp. While I was busy making lanyards and friendship bracelets, I imagined my parents were doing something mysterious. They wanted to send me away. They didn’t want to be with me every second? How dare they!

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Now I get it. We parents need these moments. We need space for spontaneity and conversation and, yes, sex on the kitchen counter. Had my kids been home, we couldn’t have risked that. They are stealthy and quiet. They may have caught us, and we may have traumatized them for life. But when the cat’s away… I know they are off having fun and learning all kinds of new things about nature and about themselves.

So why can’t their dad and I have a little fun too? It’s all in the name of happy marriage. Summer camp for the win.