EAST LANSING — There was a frantic text from Celine and her buddy Lauren two hours after we dropped them off at Michigan State soccer camp.
“Help. You gotta come back. We got bed bugs.”
I was not driving an hour back to East Lansing Sunday night. I was tired. I told them to find a camp coach and remedy the situation. As it turns out they did not have bed bugs. Some black flecks fell from the ceiling. That did not thrill me but at least the flecks were not alive and were not life threatening.
Besides, I want Celine to figure things out on her own. That is part of the reason we sent her here. My wife Abs wants to call and she wants to text. I told her to leave the girl alone. This should be a growing experience for her. Celine is 12 years old and she is not the most independent person in the world. I sent her to this soccer camp to learn more about the game she loves, meet new friends and have fun.
But I also sent her to experience college life and to do things on her own. She needs to be away from us. Sometimes we do too much for our kids and they don’t know how to do things that we learned at an early age. She doesn’t even want to put her own dishes in the dishwasher. I told her I had to wash and dry my own dishes as a kid after dinner — by hand.
The only dish washer I knew growing up was Fannie Mae Ratliff, the great grandmother I grew up with. Today’s kids kill me. They have the luxury of having machines and gadgets do the work for them. All they have to do is load and push a button. You have to threaten their lives to get them to do it.
I know soccer camp won’t change her. But at least she has to pick out her own clothes, make it to the cafeteria and put her dirty clothes in the bag provided for her.
I think everything is OK because Lauren and Celine slept through their alarm this morning.