Summer is underway and the first week of a new camp has gone surprisingly well.
Well, sort of…
As my boys and I waited outside for the camp bus on day one, my six-year-old thought it would be hilarious to hide our bus stop sign behind a double-stroller and a two-wheel bicycle I had just put out to the curb. Though they both cried the night before and expressed anxiety about heading to camp, hiding the sign was the dose of laughter they needed to get on the bus when it pulled up to my driveway a moment later. The bus counsellor got off the bus to greet them, they assessed him, decided he was nice and that the bus looked safe, and boarded with their bags.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I waved to the bus and it drove off.
However, I’ve been receiving calls and notes from the camp daily. After falling and breaking open a scab on the first day, Josh realized it was more fun to ride in a golf cart to the health centre and enjoy “magic juice” in the air conditioning, rather than participate in sports all day. If I recall correctly, I used to do the same thing, only I had Freezie’s at the health centre and I had to walk there to get one. My other son’s counsellor wrote to me today to let me know that Ari isn’t participating and cannot be cajoled into doing anything. I promised to have a pep talk with him tonight.
It seems that even when your kids are off to camp, there’s still plenty to worry about. But times have definitely changed since the first year I sent them off on the bus as a single mom. On that first day, they both refused to get on, and they each ran off in separate directions. Luckily my neighbours were outside and helped me wrangle them onto the bus. Each year on the first day of camp, I think back to that day. I get a little scared and I pray my neighbours will be there to rescue me in case it happens again.
This year I didn’t need help. They are getting older – and funnier – and they know I would never send them to a place that wasn’t fun. They also know I’ll be waiting for them on my front porch, arms wide open, when they get home. I can’t wait to see their hot little faces, to hear about their day at the health centre, and to give them the pep talk they need to get back on the bus the next day.