Thursday, June 27, 2013

Camp, Week 1


Well, I don't know who was more anxious about the first week of camp, Liam or me....

The kid is handling himself like a champ. Me, on the other hand...

As a mom, this marks a very unnerving first for me: It's the first time I don't get to hear what he did or how his day was from an adult.

When I get to Camp Pick Up around 5:45pm, the kids are sitting in groups with a couple of teachers supervising. The camp leaders/teachers who work with them all day are not there to talk with or ask questions. It's my first taste of having to get all info from Liam, which is like talking to a.... well, like talking to a 4-year-old.

There were no real answers at all on the first day:
Me: Were there boys and girls there?
Liam: Silence.
Me: Did you play with the other kids?
Liam: Some boys said I couldn't have the house.
Me: What house?
Liam: Silence.
BEAT
Liam: There was water and I splashed the other kids....
Me: Uh-Huh...

Here is what was really happening in my completely panicked mind:
Me: Were there boys and girls there? {Please tell me something, anything? Are you happy? Did you have fun? Please still love me even though I forced you out of your loving daycare and into camp to ease your transition into Pre-K!}
Liam: Silence. {PLEASE PLEASE TALK TO ME and I love that you're skipping down the street like you had a good day and you might even be a little bit happy, but please stop before you swerve into the street and get hit by a car or get sidelined by someone walking a dog!}
Me: Did you play with the other kids? {Were they mean to you? Did you meet any kids you might, possibly become friends with? Did anyone make fun of you? Call you names? Laugh at you?}
Liam: Some boys said I couldn't have the house. {What the hell? Who are these horrible, no-good kids? Don't they know my baby is amazing? Don't they know how popular you were at daycare? Why wouldn't they want to give you the house? Wait, a house? What house? What are you even talking about?}
Me: What house?
Liam: Silence. {OMG, WHAT HOUSE? A play house? A pretend house? A house of cards? WHAT?}
BEAT {Hello, are you there...}
Liam: There was water and I splashed the other kids....
Me: Uh-Huh... {Wait, of course he has no friends because he is splashing everyone he meets. Of course they didn't let him play with the "house." He is clearly sad and misses everyone and everything at daycare and so do I! And dear God, look at this empty lunch box. He didn't get enough lunch to eat, I should have filled his lunch box with more food--I am the worst mother ever!}

That night he was tired and cranky and talked about missing his friends, but the next day he was all smiles and ready to go back to camp.... It's only been a couple of days, but I think he's adjusting really well, it's me that's having growing pains.

I only just realized that this marks the first time {and oh my heart, I know there will be many more} that I can't help or protect him. I stocked up on snacks and sunscreen to get him ready for camp, when really I should have preparing myself to let go... Not completely, I mean he is only four... But oh wow, he is FOUR!

We've been calling him a "big boy" for what feels like forever, but I finally saw him in that light for the first time this week. And honestly, it's pretty terrifying. I know this is only the beginning and that I am fretting over the smallest stuff, but right now this small stuff feels down-right gigantic to me.

Sure it's nothing like what we'll endure in his teenage years or even throughout the next year, so I am trying to work through the uncertainty, the anxiety and the spotty stories to find joy in these new experiences.

And just in time because he's going to ride a School Bus for the first time today {Please tell me there are seat belts!!!} and although I'll be white-knuckled until he is in my arms, I can't wait to hear all about it tonight--from him and only him!

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