I know, I messed up. I didn’t claim a spot for you at Camp Half-Blood, and now they’re saying it’s full, and you have to join the waitlist. I realize you had your heart set on that camp. It’s just the winged messenger came around heralding registrations were open so early, and I wasn’t prepared to shell out for it when he arrived. Who knows what their summer plans are in winter? What if we wanted to go on a vacation that conflicted with the dates? And then I sort of forgot about it, and now it’s too late.

Honestly, Camp Half-Blood would have been a stretch for our family anyway. I know these summer programs can be expensive, but have you seen the fees? A Staff of Caduceus? The Aegis Shield? I always suspected your friends’ families were better off than we are, but I had no idea they’re weaponry-so-golden-foes-get-distracted-in-battle rich. And that’s not even for a whole day! What do all the other demigods do when camp lets out at three?

Speaking of the early dismissal, I’m not sure how we would have gotten you to camp and back each day. There’s only one privately chartered chariot that goes there, and you have to give the cloaked ferryman an obolos—cash, so annoying—each time you want a ride. Plus, it only makes a few stops, and let’s just say our neighborhood isn’t on the route. And I am not driving you to the base of Mount Olympus every day. The foot traffic from pilgrimages alone is enough to make me late for work.

Don’t put this all on me either. You never would’ve been able to follow all the camp’s rules. If you thought the peanut-free policy at school was restrictive, there’s something here about how eating snacks is a tacit agreement that you’ll return to the deepest regions of Tartarus? Do you think you have the willpower to deny yourself snacks? And forget bullying—the bylaws state that the gods are also likely to punish campers for acts of pride or defiance. And if I can’t get your teenage attitude in check, there’s no way you’d keep it together for a bunch of capricious immortals.

Besides, even if I slayed the Erymanthian boar and retrieved its ivory tusks in order to pay for camp, you and I know there would still be a good chance that you would whine about wanting to quit by the end of the first week. (Remember how you begged me to let you join the travel soccer team, only for you to complain it was “too outside”?)

So, it looks like you’re in for another summer at the regular YMCA for mortals. Don’t look at me like that. It’s not all that bad. Sure, you won’t get to practice smiting your enemies in the fields of combat. But maybe this is the year you’ll finally learn to swim.