day camp · slice of life

I’m Tucking This in My Desk for a “Rainy Day”

There are many times each week when I wish I could hit the “reset” button on my parenting. It’s rare I feel like I’m getting it right. But yesterday? Yesterday was one of those times when I felt like I might not be falling as far short as I sometimes feel as though I am.

Yesterday, Isabelle and Ari returned from eight days away at my parents’ house. They took my children to their house to give Marc and me the time and space we needed to transition to our new home. (FYI: We moved from Harrisburg to Lancaster on June 21st. My parents knew it would be less challenging to unpack, work, and close on our Harrisburg house without having the kids around. Not only did they take them to their house, but they enrolled both of them — Yes, even little Ari! — in day camp for the week.) It was amazing to have the ability to do what we needed to do without having to entertain and care for our children. My parents deserve a medal. But this post isn’t about them. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!)

My father handed me an envelope not long after my parents arrived at our Lancaster home. “These are from Isabelle’s counselors,” he told me.

Click on the image to enlarge.

I opened an envelope and found two different notes from Isabelle’s counselors printed on note cards. Both were sweet notes expressing how much they’d miss Isabelle since she was leaving the group after just a week. However, inside one of the cards was a index card for Marc and me. The index card not only gave me a glimpse into Isabelle’s life at camp, but one sentence written on the index card turned me speechless. The counselor wrote:

She is one of the most polite kids I have ever met.

Who? My kid? I adore my daughter, but sometimes she can be a bit gauche. (Let me be honest, I did joke around to Marc, later in the day, that I couldn’t imagine how the rest of the kids were behaving if Isabelle was considered the politest.) We teach Isabelle to have good manners in and out of our home, but I don’t always see the transfer of our teaching.

I was touched – truly – that her counselors took the time to write Isabelle notes after a week of knowing her. More than that, I was moved one of them took the extra time to reach out to us — parents living over 100 miles away — to share some reflections about Isabelle. If I could look that counselor in the eyes, I would tell her that her note truly blessed me. When you’re slogging through the daily highs and lows of parenting, it means everything to have someone tell you your kid is treating others kindly. I would never have known if it hadn’t been for her note.

I’ve tucked the notes in my desk drawer. I told Marc I am going to pull out the index card anytime I’m having a challenging parenting day. Because, apparently, I am getting more right than I think I am.

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11 thoughts on “I’m Tucking This in My Desk for a “Rainy Day”

  1. I tell you all the time that you are doing more right than you think you are! Stacey, you are doing SO MUCH RIGHT! The counselor’s note is a reminder to all of us of how good it feels to hear positive feedback about what we put out into the world. Thank you for sharing it, and definitely keep it!

  2. I agree 110% with Melanie, you are getting more right than you think you are! Believe in your love and modeling for your kids! I LOVE that the counselor took the time to write the note! Another reminder of the power of slowing down and taking the time to share, in writing, the good things! Yay Isabelle! Yay YOU! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This makes me think about how we should share more with parents our positive observations about their children. Also it reminds me of a phrase from my young parenting, more is caught than taught’.

  4. What a sweet gesture from her counselor. One of my goals last year was to share more positives with parents. I didn’t succeed, but I did better than most of my previous years.

  5. My mother regularly reminds me that it’s best to have them behave well outside of the house and fall apart a bit at home. Sounds like you are getting that right. I’m so glad that the counselor took the time to write you that note. What generosity!

  6. Okay, eyes filled with tears reading this one. I GET how special this is! You should be so proud of the job you and Marc are doing and of course, so proud of Isabelle. It truly takes a village and your parents helping out is a part of the equation too. I also understand how very lucky it is to have parents who love and adore your children and will do anything to help. That card is a keeper!

  7. How awesome (great that the counselors passed this on and that you shared here!). Isabelle gets it- it always is the right thing to show your best away from home (the hope is that eventually, they do at home too- ha!). You are such a great mom! I always think how lucky your kids are that you are documenting so many of the little and big moments here.

  8. As a mom who usually felt like I was always a “day late and a dollar short,” I understand how you feel, and I COULD just note that if you are doing the best you can every day, that’s enough – parents aren’t expected to be perfect just like kids are not expected to be perfect. However, the other profound message in your post is the POWER of a note, personal and to the point, to change a person’s moment, day, life. I almost stopped writing for good this spring; however, this is a reminder of why I hope to keep writing in all the forms that are important, including notes! Thanks for sharing the wisdom of an 18-19 year odl!

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