Boy, dropping these little guys off Sunday was tougher than I thought.
My little guy, Van, is the most social and confident little joker that’s HILARIOUS and FULL of life! Months leading up to camp he “was NOT going” according to him. SO months leading up to camp we kept dropping the “C” word often and kept referring to “when your at camp” and “all the fun” ‘just like camp”. That with the combination of all his NEW fun costumes, decorating his trunk, new Fort Nite bedding for his bunk, along with the fact his cousins talking about how much fun they’ve had through the years, he was STOKED!
SO excited on the way there! But he still sneaks in bed with mamma, so I thought it was going to be really tough for him at drop off. HE was great… UNTIL the moment we walked up to his cabin to get him settled in, the terror in his eyes I could see BUT only for about a MINUTE! When we walked in the door a new friend was there, saw his bedding and he started doing the Fort Nite dances! Van was SOLD! BFF’s at first site! 😉
Within 2 minutes Van had his shoes kicked off (like his friend) and they had counselors doing the FLOSS!
Van was Like PEACE OUT mom & dad! SEE YAH! That was easy & unexpected!
Trae on the other hand was a WHOLE other story!
THAT was tough!
When I say tough I don’t mean it lightly. I’ve tried to get Trae to go with his cousins now for 3 years, each year he said he wasn’t ready, so no problem we stuck with the day camps. This year HE said he was ready! Signed him up last summer and he’s been EXCITED since… until reaching his cabin!
You see at Trae’s age, for most of the campers this is not their first year! So they request bunk mates from previous years and look forward to seeing the camp friends they’ve made the same week every year at camp. When Trae got in to his bunk when it was time for us to leave, MOST of his campers were already there and MOST of them (and their parents ) ALL new each other. High five-ing, hugging, smiling ear to ear excited to reunite, throwing the football all together. Then there was Trae. Until about 2 others bunk mates came and it was their first year as well.
Trae is the MOST comfortable kid WHEN he knows you! He used to be confident before he “KNEW” of all his challenges and is aware people notice them too. Take that and combine it with the typical insecurities of “fitting in” as a pre teen, makes for one shy and insecure kid afraid to introduce himself sometimes because he’s scared you won’t understand him. My mamma heart was CRUSHING. Minute by Minute.
Zoli and Papa would try to break the ice and get him with the “group” and it was tough. He wasn’t going to tell us because he’s the kind of kid that wants to do what you want him to do to make you happy. You could see it in his eyes, he was terrified, scared, and completely uncomfortable and all I kept asking myself is WTH did I do?!
I didn’t even make it one step into the carriage ride for the ride back and I was SOBBING! I could barley breath with tears flowing down my face in front of these stranger parents that probably wondered what the heck is wrong with me. lol. Hiding my tears into Papa’s Shoulder I couldn’t keep it together.
I wanted to go back and pick him up, demand a 24 hour update from the camp on his adjustment because of his special needs and check into the closest hotel I could just in case and maybe go steal that kids football and GIVE it to Trae. lol
It was tough, but it’s good for him… I kept having to tell myself. In a few hours he will be fine. They will accept him like we all do and he is going to have fun. My concern was those few hours until then could set us back from years of progress we’ve made. Every parent there and my friends checking on me all reassured me how great that camp is at “breaking the ice” and making sure the kids aren’t so “clicky”. I put my faith in them and I kept reminding myself of that.
Zoli & I didn’t sleep AT ALL yesterday! At all worried sick.
We went over the scenarios a million times and a million ways. The million things that could happen or go wrong for Trae. By the time I went to bed I was already determined to call camp and demand a progress report and have some strings pulled and tell them what I thought of their “bunk mate request” option.
I guess I’ve gotten so used to “fighting” for Trae that I never realized his own strength and courage. I literally just teared up typing but I can’t explain the years of fear, fight, and standing up for my boy that really makes me SO proud of him. He’s a good kid, and I’m so proud to call him mine. Both of them. Van you see, he’s Mr. Independent and doesn’t NEED anyone most of the time lol, but Trae has always looked at me and needed me in some way…
I needed to CHILL out. This mama needed to CHILL out! I needed to put my faith in HIM. Not the others or his surrounding, in him.
Yesterday at 10 am they posted photos from the first day. I waited anxiously looking through EVERY one and THERE he was! RIGHT in the middle! Right in the group of “bunk mate request cool kids that new the SKY ways”! 🙂 THERE he was! Doing JUST fine! SMILING. Happy. My heart and my mind immediately at ease. Such relief! He’s gonna be JUST fine!
It’s hard when you realize they are growing up and don’t need mama to fight their battles, remind them to brush their teeth, put their bug spray on, or ensure his peers are kind.
The greatest piece of advice I could give if your a mom debating to sign your kiddos up for camp… DO IT! Do it now, do it early, let them grow and have the TIME of their lives… without your help.
I’ll spend my week ANXIOUSLY awaiting new pictures every day and worrying my crazy mind still I’m sure! 😉 But for the future, I’m sure going to have a lot more patience in my faith in him.
Happy Tuesday Mom Queens