I can drop my big kid off at summer camp and not worry one bit, because my friends run it.
Okay, I’m busted, it was just day camp. He hasn’t done overnight camp yet, and I would probably be an absolute wreck if I dropped him off, hugged him, and said, “see you in a week.” To be honest though, even then I would probably be a mess from the separation factor, rather than worry.
There’s plenty of reason for mama to worry about summer camp! The pool is HUGE and the climbing wall is at least 300 miles high and all camps have raccoons and bullies. So I could totally worry, but as I said, I’m spoiled. I’m under the delusion that extra eyes are watching my kid. Please, don’t tell me otherwise.
Hoss had, and I quote, the best week of his life at day camp. They swam, they barreled down a giant slip and slide, they climbed, they played crazy made-up camp games and watched their counselors’ silly skits. Of course it was the best week of his life!
So when he returned to the plain ‘ol day-to-day back home, he had to readjust himself from the pedal to the metal camp routine.
Gosh, I tried to keep the summer fun going. But I’m no match for SUMMER CAMP. I pulled out the water table, and after a few seconds it would be, “can we go mini golfing after this?” Then, we hit up the playground, and I’d hear, “can we ride bikes after this?” We went to a festival, and during the games he would say, “can we get some kettle corn after this?”
After this. After this. After this.
He seemed completely unable to enjoy now.
I could have reacted one of two ways. I could have become annoyed that nothing we did was enough. I could have stopped trying.
Or, I could try to make him aware of what he was doing.
You know, if you’re thinking about kettle corn, you’re missing all the fun of this octopus craft because you’re not thinking about it while you’re doing it.
We may not be able to get the bikes out because of the storm later, but you can swing or slide now while the weather is nice.
Don’t worry about what’s next. Let today happen.
I liked the way that one came out. So that’s the phrase I pull out often now. When we feel the focus shift to what’s next, I remind him to let today happen.
Adults find mindfulness difficult sometimes. I know I frequently have to shake myself out of autopilot. Can you imagine what that looks like for kids? Their brains are so busy, taking it all in, wanting to experience it all.
Sometimes they need us to bring them back to now, to remind them to let today happen.