I believe that raising healthy kids is not just about what food I put on their plate, but also about what experiences I introduce into their lives – well rounded, adjusted kids are happy healthy kids. I take creating memories for my children very seriously - they only have one childhood and I hope when they are older they can look back on it and remember the super amazing fun times they had. And my kids do have fun – we go to Marineland, to cottages, to beaches, to ski hills, to outdoor movies, to campsites and to grandma’s house. They each have pool parties in the summer, a March break hot tub party in the winter and a gingerbread making party at Christmas time with all their friends . . every year.
One thing was missing though. Summer Camp. I mean the real kind where you take a bus to a Conservation Area and you spend ALL DAY outside. You sing camp songs, you play camp games, you make camp crafts, you swim in the lake, you take canoe lessons and archery lessons and you make lifelong memories. And your Mom is NOT there. Gulp.
Today was the day. My two oldest girls boarded a bus with 3 of their bestest friends (could not send them ALONE!). I had prepared them – oh yes I had! Two weeks ago we went on a pre-camp beach day . … just me and them - we scoped out the bathrooms, the beach area and saw where the other campers that week kept their back packs and where they canoed! I Mabel Labeled their hats and sunscreen, gave explicit instructions to the forgetful one to put her shoes and underwear IN her backpack when she took them off and spent weeks convincing my teary one that this would be the most fun ever!! I made lunches and put in extra treats . . . even made a batch of spinach brownies (see my first blog!) and apple oat bars. I stayed up late last night and printed photos – used my Sharpie and wrote “have a great day” with tons of x’s and o’s all over them – and snuck those in their lunch bags. And their camp counselors phoned yesterday to tell them how excited they were to meet them at camp the next day, about all the fun they were going to have and to bring some spare socks for craft day. This is going to be PREFECT!
Perfect? I am still convincing myself!! Chanting right now – awesome summer memories, awesome summer memories!! You see, I am a stay at home working mom. My kids are either with me or with my mom. Mostly with me. I love being their mom – bad days and all - I am still so super happy that I can be home with them to have beach days and hot tub parties with their friends. This camp thing, on a bus, to a place farther away than the local dance academy has this Mom rocking in her corner office! I did OK this morning. Happily took photos of the kids getting on the bus, held their hands til the very end and kissed the tears of the one that was crying. I even boarded the bus to make sure they had a seat with their friends and no boogie men were on it and then . . . I . . .waved . . goodbye.
I did OK all day. Watched that clock and boy did it move slowly. I am not used to not being able to call and 'check in' mid day when they are not with me!! Finally it was 4:35 and pick up at that same bus stop but this time the kids couldn't stop squealing with excitement. Telling me all the amazing things they did all day and showing me the sock puppet - oh its something else (have to post a photo of it tomorrow!). And that same teary child? Her first words to me off that bus were "Mom, that was so AWESOME!"
Summer Camp is a success for all! Memories are being made and they are awesome ones!!! And next year, do they want to go again . . why yes they do, and to a sleep over camp!! Gulp!