free-writing: an epic success
I almost forgot to show up here today, that's how far away from my computer I've been all day.
After yesterday's epic success of a day in terms of word count, this morning I was all pepped up to keep the momentum going.
And then, sweet, sweet D had a hard time getting ready to go to camp. He was teary-eyed and didn't want to go. He said he misses home. So all my energy this morning went in keeping myself calm so I could attend to his needs.
After bidding him goodbye, I felt heavy in my heart. When our kids are young, we are so desperate to send them away from us. And when they grow older and away, we desperately want to cling to them and wonder why they don't want to be with us as much.
I personally don't appreciate the concept of summer camps. Summer is a time for fun, for doing nothing. Summer holidays don't come back unless you grow up to become a school teacher, I suppose.
I don't even understand how children are OK to go to camps in new, unfamiliar places with a bunch of entirely unfamiliar children and adults/teens they've never seen before. And how they spend an entire day like that.
I'm trying to think back to my own experiences – of course, we didn't have any such thing as camps in our time – but I was usually up for any new activity. But in my case, I was more eager to get out of home than stay there, so any excuse to be away from home was perfect, no matter what it entailed.
So maybe I should feel happy that D loves being at home, being with us, so much he misses it when he's away. I cherish this feeling, and I'm in no rush to push him, because from what I've seen of him, he's quite a content child who also looks forward to new experiences, but long days tend to drain him.
Maybe a 2-hour or half-day camp is fun, but from the looks of it D ends up doing some activities, having lunch/snack breaks, playing outside if the weather favours it, and even watching TV! I gather he is bored and would much rather be at home than at school.
Oh, well! We wanted to try them out this year, this being D's first year at camp, and considering that he had missed out on being with other kids throughout the school year when everything went virtual. Now that we know, next year we'd certainly be looking at other options – maybe an hour of art class every week or some such thing, depending on where his interests lie, or an invitation to cousins overseas to come and visit us.
So anyway, by the time I got to my writing computer, I was not in a great mental frame. The old fears resurfaced – Am I doing right by my child? Is it too much to send him to full-day camp? OK, it's only for this week, and another week later this month.
But I was already caught up in that anxiety, and even though I wasn't listening to my thoughts, it was too much to sit and type. I did try at first, got a few hundred words out, then gave up before I could spend irrecoverable time surfing on the internet.
I went for a walk at about ten in the morning. It was a hot, hot day. Hot and humid, but the sun was not burning. It was behind clouds for the most part, which made the walk bearable. So that was something new I did today – venturing out in the hot, hot sun and not feeling miserable or whining about it.
Then I came back, made a veggie for lunch as KrA had prepared most of the meal in the morning while packing D's lunchbox, had a bath, did the laundry, had lunch, then slept off. I had a long, long nap because when I woke up, I had barely enough time to move the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer before I needed to head out to pick up D from school.
Back home with D, KrA made dosa for dinner, D and I then played the piano for a bit, then bath-time, reading time, and an unexpected conversation time with my little one in bed before he finally fell asleep.
D shared a lot with me about his day. He doesn't like using the designated toilet down the hallway as he finds the flush too loud, so his teacher suggested he could go into another school room where the other batch of kids were. His friend suggested he could try to run out of the toilet before the flush begins. D also shared with me how another child attending camp refused to share eggs for an experiment with him today and the teacher had to intervene.
When he fell asleep, I looked back and realised my child had opened up to me so much about camp at school today, and that was possible only because I had attended to myself today, shown myself care and patience, given myself much needed rest without berating myself for all the writing not done, so that I could show up for D when it mattered the most.
So yes, let me reframe this – today was an epic success when it came to parenting.
Today was an awesome day! I wonder what amazing surprises tomorrow will bring!
Image Attribution: Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash