The first week of camp came and went and no one exploded. I built it up so much in my mind that it became this huge momentous occasion, which is was, but for many reasons I hadn’t even anticipated.
As a family and as two working parents we had to adjust to an entirely new routine last week that included additional lunch requirements, daily sunscreen application, two different drop off and pick ups, and no more Don (age 5) in the car with Edith (age 2) and me on the way to and from school or during our walk into and out of school. By Friday, we were certainly getting the hang of it and will most certainly adapt and enjoy it, but the first week was noticeably different and at times quite challenging.
The great news, Don absolutely loves camp! He’s going to the town pool 3 days a week by taking the bus, playing lots of games, and is outside most of the day. The other huge plus is that the camp is housed at the elementary school where he will start kindergarten in the fall, so he is meeting and interacting with kids he will see at school and getting familiar with the building. I’m thrilled with the decision to take him out of childcare and think camp is a fantastic fit for him and us.
What I didn’t anticipate was how Edith would react to her brother heading off to camp. She kept telling her teachers all week that there was “no Don, Don at camp”, which immediately made me think we had scarred her. After taking a few beats to calm myself, I realized that although our drives to and from school are different, they actually give Edith and me some mom/daughter time, which is pretty nice. And, although the daily rituals we all shared together have ended, Edith and I get to create new ones together.
The biggest change that I didn’t anticipate seemed to happen instantaneously. Our “baby” came home from camp after one day with older children a real, live, school-aged kid. The change was noticeable. My husband and I have been adjusting and growing as parents together since day one, but last week we realized it’s time for our A-game. I’m just happy that we have the summer to adjust to our new routines and responsibilities.