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I’ll Miss Him, I’ll Miss Him Not: Sending My Husband To Camp

For years, I have been nagging my baseball-loving husband to attend Indians Fantasy Camp. It’s a week of baseball coached by a major leaguer, featuring daily doubleheaders, playing with the pros, video highlights of each day, a locker filled with personalized jerseys—the list goes on. It’s the man cave, on turf.

That fantasy finally happened last week. It wasn’t for chumps. “You have to be ready to play,” my husband said. The month before, I watched the items coming to the house—new baseball bat, new glove, new cleats. There were practices, workouts, emails (OMG—the daily emails). The real fantasy was getting to be “the player” again instead of the coach. “Coaching is great, but it’s not playing,” he clarified. I was so excited for him to have this experience—he’s a great guy, and he deserves it.

And that’s when it hit me.

Seven nights of Fantasy Camp for my husband meant seven nights of the bed. All. To. Myself.

Pinch me.

“I feel like it’s a long time to be away,” he said as we drove to the airport.

“Honey, it’s going to be GREAT. You can actually disengage from work, get out of your head, and just enjoy.” I saw all of my books on my nightstand actually getting read.

“Yeah, I know—it just puts a lot on you with the kids, work, etc.”

“Honey, it’s FINE, ” I said, playing my usual role of supportive wife. Truth be told, I pictured having both of the pillows and adjusting the thermostat to my liking. Dreamy.

“Yeah, I guess.”

I smiled at him and grabbed his hand. He smiled back. I smiled because that meant no snoring for a week (besides mine, but that doesn’t keep me awake). Why is he smiling?

The first text:

Check out my locker (with a pic).

I wanted to text back:

I read all of my books. 

The second text:

I pitched a whole game, got a triple, and walked. 

I wanted to text back:

Check out my eyes—no bags (with pic of course).

The third text:

I am really sore and really tired, but having a ball.

I wanted to text back:

I’m not either of those things.

That’s when I realized they really should be marketing this camp to the wives. It might be the ultimate two-for-one.

I couldn’t help but think of Fantasy Island, that late 1970s TV show. I and millions of others [as old as I am] watched as week after week Mr. Rourke fulfilled the fantasies of random people: “My dear guests, I am Mr. Rourke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island.” (Did he sound like The Count from Sesame Street, or have I misremembered that?) Sometimes even couples shared a fantasy. Really—what couple SHARES a fantasy? I remember thinking: “What marriage could survive that?”

Through their fantasies, Mr. Rourke tried to teach his guests critical life lessons, but he often hinted that the fantasy wouldn’t turn out quite how they envisioned.

Not this time, Mr. Rourke. Shared fantasies really do come true.

Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman is publisher of Your Teen Magazine.

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