Honey. Simon. Honey. You need to get up. It’s almost eleven, for crying out loud.
You missed breakfast, by the way. Your sister’s already at work.
Listen–scoot over, Simon, make room–I remember how upset you were–don’t be dramatic, I’m your mother; it’s nothing I haven’t seen, scoot over–I remember how upset you were when we told you we couldn’t send you to that wizard boarding school. I know it’s been hard on you, but we just couldn’t afford it.
And it hasn’t been so bad here in the meantime, has it? We got the above-ground pool put in; that was exciting. Who needs a below-ground pool? Swimming around on the same level as all the worms and the dirt. It’s not sanitary. Anyhow, I hope you’re not still too upset, because–
No, it wasn’t. It was not three years ago. You exaggerate everything. You love wizard school. You wouldn’t shut up about it when they sent that brochure home last year. You have all the witch sticks, the wands, whatever.
Oh, excuse me. That was in middle school. Of course, you’re much too old and mature now. You weren’t so mature when your sister walked in on you touching yourself watching your Throne Games last month. Of course she told me about it, I’m your mother.
I thought you’d be excited about this. You used to be so excited about wizard school. Well, we couldn’t afford year-round wizarding school, but we can afford wizard summer camp, and we signed you up, and it starts tomorrow, and you’re going. I’m sorry it’s such a punishment. We wanted to surprise you.
Well, I’m very sorry that your father and I sacrificed to give you something you always said you wanted. It must be terrible for you.
And it’s day camp, so you can’t stay there over the weekends. There’s a shuttle. It’s not a wizard shuttle, or anything, but it’ll take you to the camp in the morning.
Listen, Mister, it’s either wizard camp or I’m going to drown you in the hot tub at the YMCA. I’m not going to sit through another summer where you stay up til 5am in the basement every night, running up the air conditioning bill. What do you do down there all the time? It’s not healthy. Boys your age should be outside, becoming wizards in the sunshine and the fresh air. You’re going to love it. You’ll be begging to stay by the end of the summer. We won’t be able to get you back in the house. Your father is moving the computer into the living room, and you’re going to wizard camp.
I don’t care how it sounds. They’ve got magical knot-tying classes. That could be fun, right? Magic hiking. I don’t know what makes it magic. I’m not the wizard, I’m just your mother. And frankly, your father and I would like the house to ourselves. We might move the computer up into our room, see what’s so interesting on there that it keeps you up all hours of the night instead of having dinner with your family.
Oh, don’t do that. You’re fine. Please. Don’t make that sound, you know how much I hate that sound, like you’re throwing up. You’re going to camp and I don’t want to hear another word about it. We’re not sending your sister to wizard camp, you know. This is something special we did just for you. You want to stay here and get a job, be my guest. I don’t know who’s going to hire a fourteen-year-old who doesn’t even know any spells and got his learner’s permit taken away, but go right ahead. We’ll send your sister to wizard camp, and she’ll get all the powers in the family. We’ll give her your witch sticks and you can come crying to me when she turns you into a manticore.
Just because I’m your mother and not a wizard doesn’t mean I don’t know about manticores, Simon. I’m not taking care of any manticores.
I know Bunk Seven is the evil bunk. That could be fun, right? Being evil? Just for the summer?
Well, I think it would be nice if you participated. I thought you’d like being in Bunk Seven. You don’t seem to mind evil wizards in those fan fictions you write on the computer in the basement ’til five in the morning. That’s right. I read those. You think you’re smarter than me? You leave the browser open when you go to bed, mister. You don’t even clear your history. And you’ve written so many of them. Simon, if you directed a tenth of the energy you spend on your little stories to your studies, you’d already be a math wizard. Just a little joke. Just a little math joke. Yes, of course I read them. I’m your mother. They’re a little too smutty for my tastes. Not my style. And your spelling’s not the best, either.
You know whose fan fictions I like? That SceptyxEyezz77. Those are good stories. Do you know her?
I don’t know why you’re trying to argue with me. You’re still too young to get a job and I’m sick of driving you to Martin’s house every day. You’re going to wizard summer camp and you’re going to love it. Here, I brought you the activities list.
I know the ropes course is a little fatal. It’s not going to be like science camp at the Y. I guess you’d better not fall, then.
Well, I think it’s funny. Don’t be such a sour puss. Your face looks terrible, when you make your face like that. I hope they have a spell for good attitudes at this wizard camp.
No, you only have tonight to pack. You’re not going out to see Martin. You haven’t even done your laundry. Do your laundry, then go be a wizard. I bought you some bug spray and an extra swimsuit and those peanut butter granola bars you like and a little something for your evil bunk. They’re on the island in the kitchen. I love you. Get up. It’s a beautiful day out.
I’m making tuna fish sandwiches for lunch. You want a sandwich for lunch? I can make another kind of sandwich if you don’t want tuna fish.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.