School’s out for summer! YES! Hooray to all the graduates.
All of that went amazingly well considering the build up and sad feelings we had before. Yes, there were tears, but we managed it by having several play dates with our school buddies right away. So much better to go through endings WITH friends, rather than alone!
We had a lovely few days of family time and also went to the beach.
Temps are soaring. Max is finishing up his first week at his new camp and loving it. Max’s favorite activities so far include the computers, basketball, pool, playground, and playing with his “great new friends.”
This is where I got to tell him, “See? I told you that you’d meet new friends and have fun!” Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, I TOLD YOU SO!
The first few days, Max had a hard time at morning drop off. Saying goodbye tearfully, clinging to me in his full force cling on mode, and then pulling some extra loud temper tantrums after being picked up. Ugh.
I picked him up early the first few days. He was mad. But, also telling me how much fun he had. I picked up later on the 3rd day because, “Pick me up later, Mommy. ” So, I did. I arrived to get him just as his group was getting ready to go out for snack and outside play time. Boy, oh, boy. “Mommy, you’re too early!” Oh, jeez. Seriously?
I told him he could stay. So he says, “Mommy I want to stay and go at the same time. I want both!”
Oh, boy, oh, boy! Yeah, and I want to…oh, nevermind.
I didn’t try to explain the laws of physics which I barely comprehend myself, but I do know that one can’t be in TWO places at the same time. This is not teleconferencing or multi-tasking. Nope, can’t do it.
After a bit of back and forth, with me telling him his options, and trying to keep things at a low volume level so the camp counselors wouldn’t judge me right off the bat for being (INSERT DEROGATORY PARENTING STYLE / LABEL HERE).
Yeah, I care. No, I don’t. Much. I just didn’t feel like a scene. Ya know? PLEASE. NO SCENE! Not now in this baking hot parking lot. Pretty please. OK, now that sounds desperate. I was actually in charge of the situation. No, I wasn’t. I wanted to be. I was trying very hard to be in charge and just roll with it. Perhaps this was the problem. My own ambivalence. It’s too hot. I dunno. Stay or go.
“Stay or go. Either one is fine. If you can’t decide, I’ll decide.” He chose to stay, have snack and play. Fine.
I cursed silently in my mind. I could’ve done another load of laundry. Could’ve stared into space a few more minutes collecting my random thoughts. Oh, well. What’s an hour in the big scheme of things? I didn’t have a deadline. I was available. Whatever. Let it go.
So, I hung out in a comfortable air-conditioned space and caught up on emails. No, I didn’t. I have over 16k emails in my in-box. I’ve accepted that I’ll never read them all, or even delete them all. I will never, ever be caught up on emails. Accepting is the first step towards healing, right? They’re just there in perpetuity. I sat down and called it rest time and enjoyed the fact that Max was loving camp so much that he didn’t want to leave. Later, earlier, whatever!
Once again, for the 1000th time, I learned the lesson that I will never be arriving at the “right time” according to Max. I made an executive decision to (from this day forward) do pick up at the time for which I have paid for him to be there. Unless I have a compelling reason to do otherwise, that’s the pick up time. End of story. So, yesterday, that’s what I did. Against all odds, Max didn’t give me a hard time. Apparently, it was the “right time.” Oh, boy.
Now, was that because I decided it was the RIGHT TIME and was clear and not wishy-washy about it? Or did he finally understand that the longer he stays, the more fun he has? I’ll probably never know.
Today at camp it is FUN FRIDAY. As if all the other days of the week are some kind of misery. And, by the way, this morning at drop off, not even ONE tear or ONE clingy moment. Happy dance. Guilt be gone!
Wishing you a great weekend.
The Serenity Prayer can work for parenting. You can take out GOD, if that isn’t your cup of tea, (or keep it in if you prefer or use whatever word works for you), and say:
GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.
THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN.
AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
Still always working on this, but it sometimes helps put things into perspective. Key word: SOMETIMES.
A few housekeeping bits:
I’m very interested in spreading the word about other parents / writers / artists /performers who are doing cool stuff. Please drop me a note and send me links / info if you’d like me to consider / share / post about your work here in the future.
Also, I’m accepting suggestions (through July 6th) for any summer topics you’d like to see me cover through August 24.
words and images © Elana Halberstadt 2012