Summer Camp, Summer Camp Sadness

Alex starts preschool in 2.5 weeks. Now, seeing that he’s almost 5, many people believe I should have started him sooner. However, the kid is already too smart for his own good (why? beats me.) and if he had to take roughly the same curriculum two years in a row, I think he would have eaten everyone alive. I don’t regret my choice not to send him sooner.

Plus, if I’m being honest, I wanted to keep him just a little bit longer.

Anyhoodle, in preparation for this big milestone, I signed Alex up for some camps this Summer so he could get used to being away for a few hours at a time. His first camp was at the Children’s Museum of Evansville the week after Fourth of July.

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Pre-camp, we stopped to take the required “milestone” photo. The pre-camp materials didn’t have a supply list, so I sent him with…nothing. At the last minute, I second guessed myself. Since he had often become dehydrated at his daycare because he never stopped to ask for water, I packed him a water bottle.

We made it through ok until I started to sign him in and glanced down at the little, enormous person before me.

“Here I am sending him off into the world on his own, and all I’ve given him is a water bottle to take care of himself,” I thought to myself. And that is the moment I began to weep. I tried not to let him see, kissing the top of his head and telling him I’d see him in a few hours.

{Insert image of me crying pathetically. Or, hell, you can just imagine it.}

Then I cried like a baby all the way to my car. Other moms stopped to stare. I avoided a friend so I wouldn’t have to explain my histrionics. I sobbed silently for a few moments and turned the car on to take Evan to a well check up. It would all be ok.

Of course, it was at this point that Evan realized we were leaving his brother somewhere ALONE and HE began to sob. “Brudder! Brudder, we need my brudder! Where’s my brudder? Don’t leave brudder!” So, of course, now I’m crying again which means I can’t drive because my mom forbid me to drive and cry when I was 16.

Seriously, once I start crying, it’s hard for me to stop. So much so that it really did have to become a driving safety rule. No crying and driving.

What’s my point? Oh, yes.

So, Alex had a great time at camp. Really, really great and he loved learning about other cultures and making crafts. He did, however, take umbrage with the fact that he had to go ALONE. “Can’t you guys come with me tomorrow? All those kids are strangers. I missed you guys.”

Which means, of course, that it’s a good thing we sent him and a good growth experience for all of us. And he had a great time at camp and ended up making friends with some of those stranger-kids and it’s all good.

Except that when I took him to his first day of baseball camp a few weeks later, he was mildly outraged that I had to leave him there alone. “But how will you see what I’m doing mom? You need to watch me play!”

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That’s when I let him know that when he got older there would be camps that he could sleep at and that he might not see me for an entire week.

It went over great.

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