Summer camp is a BIG thing in our current stage of life. The funny this is I don’t remember going to camp until the 5th or 6th grade, although I’m sure there were options for younger kids available. In March, our city publishes a booklet of camp offerings all summer long, as do many of the schools around us. Last year camp went smoothly, but this year?! Well, as you can imagine, I’m writing this post because things haven’t gone so well. Granted we’ve only been to 2 camps thus far, but I’m quickly starting to question whether or not we should stay signed up for the other 2 we have planned the rest of the summer.
All 3 of our kids are going through some crazy separation phase with Mom. Ask any teacher, babysitter, or friend who has been around the trio from May on and they’ll likely say the same thing. When Dad or Nana drop the kids off at school or camp, things go smoothly. When Mom does, it’s like I’m leaving them for good! While I’d like to think I’m so fun and my kids just can’t get enough of being with Mom, I know that as soon as I take them home they’ll be asking for the iPad or TV show. Little tricksters…. So, what’s with the major separation when we are ready for drop-off? I think a lot has to do with their age, them being OVER school and organized activities for the summer, and truly, them knowing that a few tears can and will WORK on Mom.
This past week we spent a few days in northern Michigan where the boys attended a vacation bible school at the parish we attend when visiting Nana and Grandpa’s cottage. Day one: Mom stayed and volunteered at the camp. Day two: Nana stayed and volunteered at the camp. Day three: Mom escaped. The tears came, and the leader of their age-group told me to give her 10 minutes. If things got worse, they’d call me to come back. Well, I’m sitting here writing this post with a hot cup of coffee waiting for pick-up. SHE WORKED MAGIC.
There’s really no moral of the story here other than I’m pretty darn proud my boys finished their week of vacation bible school. My Mom shared something that really resonated with me: kids get self-esteem by completing things. Heck, I think I do even as an adult. So, while I pushed the boys to step out of their comfort zone, I pushed myself by not letting a few tears get to me. And in the end, all of us accomplished something.
Tell me: Are you kids busy with camp this summer? Have they gone through a similar separation anxiety phase?! How do you handle it?