He’s baaaack! We dropped my son off at sleep away camp last Sunday. This is his second year at this camp and despite a few butterflies on Saturday night, he was completely thrilled to be there. As we drove up the mountain road that leads to the camp, he pointed out every landmark that he remembered from last year – the pizza joint that they stopped at on the way home from an outing, the gas station where we filled up before heading home last year, the carved wooden totem pole, the scenic outlook…he remembered it all.
When we arrived I was amazed at the ease in which he settled in, showing us around the campus with so much pride and authority and affably introducing himself to his counselor and bunk mates. The first year, I felt some trepidation in leaving my “baby” behind – this year, none whatsoever. This was his place, he was 100% comfortable being there and he was ready to soak up every moment. After a quick sandwich at the mess hall, he was ready for us to go – so we did.
My husband and I spent a rare night alone in a cozy bed and breakfast at the Massachusetts coast, enjoying a leisurely dinner and evening stroll through the charming, historic village and along the rocky shoreline. We haven’t done that in ages – in fact, we have not had a weekend away by ourselves in, well, longer than we should.
Which makes me think that kids going off to overnight camp for a few weeks is as much about the parents as the kids. Making some room in our busy lives just to reconnect with each other is essential for a healthy marriage. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of the day-to-day, that we forget the big picture – the reasons that you chose to commit to your partner in the first place.
Just like our son re-discovered those landmarks on the road to camp, we get to discover those special qualities in our partners that we overlook because we see them every day. That alone is worth the tuition to camp!