“Have you gotten any writing done since you got home from the conference?” my husband inquired last night.
I smirked. “Barely! Isabelle only had two school days left after the conference. I’ve had almost no time to myself for over a month. Not that that’s been a bad thing. We’ve had fun, but I have hardly had any time to work on the revisions for my manuscript.”
“Well, at least you’ll have time starting Monday,” Marc said.
“I sure will! Five days a week should be plenty of time to get revisions done and to start on some new writing,” I replied.
Starting tomorrow, Isabelle heads off to day camp for the next four weeks. That’s five days a week for six-and-a-half hours a day. I NEED this time to devote to my writing. However, I’d be lying if I said I’m comfortable about sending her off to day camp tomorrow.
Let’s be honest. I’m worried.
Preschool didn’t have me this concerned. I knew she’d be taken care of by capable teachers.
But day camp is another thing. Day camp is a huge adjustment for any kid. (Maybe that’s why my parents didn’t send me to day camp until I was seven. Hmmm…) There are sunscreen and bug spray she needs have applied. There are swimsuits she needs to be changed into and out of. There are personal belongings she needs to keep track of. There’s staying safe at free swim! All of these are things I’ve either overseen or helped to take care of for the past five-and-a-half years. And tomorrow, my kiddo is on her own. (Yes, I know there are counselors, but they’re teenagers in charge of 15 five-year-olds!)
This afternoon, I spent the day doing what I do best when I am nervous about something. I get organized.
I laid out Isabelle’s clothes. (Normally she picks what she wears, but tomorrow is picture day so I chose.)
I took her on a tour of her backpack so she’d know what she was taking to camp. I explained how she was to get dressed and undressed for swimming. (Sit on a towel, not the ground. Place wet bathing suits into a Ziploc when finished. Let me know if I need to send two towels in the future since tomorrow I’m only sending one.) I showed her a laminated picture chart of the items she was to bring home with her. (She is a people-watcher who will be more interested in what other kids are doing than in packing herself up at the end of the day.)
I pulled her curls into a tight slop-knot tonight so it would be easier for me to put her hair into a ponytail tomorrow. (She was shocked the counselors wouldn’t be willing to remove her bow, which she always wears, and tie her hair up in a ponytail prior to swim.)
I made her lunch.
I even put her socks in her sneakers.
And yet, I am still worried. Thankfully, she seems as cool as a cucumber. (I guess that is good. Either it means I’m doing a good job hiding my nerves or she’s oblivious to how much she’s going to have to do on her own!)
I know she will be less than ten minutes away. She will be fine.
And I will be fine too. Perhaps more than fine. Maybe by Tuesday, I’ll even be productive.
—-Updated at 5:00 p.m. on 7/18.—-
Isabelle had a great day at camp! She came home with all of her belongings (Thanks to the help of one of her counselors!) and ate nearly all of her lunch.
I nearly had a heart attack on the car ride home when Isabelle told me she jumped in a bounce house — after some coaxing from adults — when it rained this afternoon. (We’re a no-bounce house family since they’re one of the leading causes of emergency room visits for American children.) She knew she wasn’t supposed to do it, but she told me, “I was careful.” While I appreciated how careful she was, I reminded her that she didn’t want to spend her summer in a cast (or in a cast after having surgery) so I asked her not to go in it again. Even though she promised she’d be careful, I ended the conversation by asking, “If you get hurt in a bounce house and land up in a cast, whose fault will it be?”
Even though she promised she’d be careful, I ended the conversation by asking, “If you get hurt in a bounce house and land up in a cast, whose fault will it be?”
To which Isabelle responded, “Mine.”
Hopefully, she’ll make a smart decision. But just in case, I emailed the head of the camp to ask that the counselors redirect her to another activity the next time the bounce house is a choice. I already received an email back stating: Not a problem – I will speak to the staff
Not a problem – I will speak to the staff tomorrow and let them know to direct Isabelle to another area in the play room. Whew!
Other than that, it was a great day!