first day at summer camp

Yesterday was W’s first day of summer camp. I have been looking forward to it for him because, unlike me, W is a kid who LOVES to be outside and active. He is super social and friendly and I imagined he would instantly fit in and have a marvelous time.

Sunday night I was a wreck. Truly. I could barely sleep because I started worrying about what his camp experience would be like. Would he learn things from older kids? Would he hear horrible jokes and laugh anyway? Would he know how to defend himself if he needed to? Or worse…what if W picked on some kid and made THEIR day awful?? So many variables with camp to stress over, but ultimately none of it is in my hands.

Parenting continues to teach me how little control I have.

On the way to camp W told me he was a little bit nervous, but then he said he was more excited than nervous. Thank goodness. As we pulled into the parking lot he could make out some kids running around a field and some kids sitting around picnic tables. “Mama! I can see camp!” Yes! Yay! Here we go!

A counselor met us at the car and I watched as W skipped away with him.

Of course I watched the clock all day and kept my phone by my side. Rationally I know this is fretting for nothing, but the only way to the other side of the anxiety is to get over the hump of the unknowing. Day one of camp is the unknowing.

When I picked him up in the afternoon I was giddy. Seriously excited to hear all about it. My heart broke when I saw his sunburned face with tears plopping down his cheeks. He climbed into the car and sobbed, “I didn’t pass the swimming test!” Oh goodness. Well no. I didn’t imagine he would as he is only a few weeks into his swim lessons. I can’t believe he felt ready enough to take a for realsies swim test. I told him how brave that was and how it was amazing how far he had come.

It was then that we both realized he didn’t have his water bottle. His prized Star Wars water bottle that he has had for almost a year. “MY WATER BOTTLE!!!!” I drove over to the front of the camp building and we went in and did a search with no luck. At home I realized it wasn’t only the water bottle that was missing. He managed to not make it home with his lunch bag or his swim suit.

This is all part of camp – learning to hang on to your stuff. Applying your own sunscreen is also part of camp. I slather him up with the good stuff in the mornings, but the kids are responsible for reapplying twice during the day. W forgot to reapply on his face – twice – yesterday.

Later last night W did share with his Lolly that he did like camp. He also shared that he got hit in the eye with a jump rope. (I later found the above accident report shoved into his backpack.) I think I got the more emotional, knee jerk, response from him. But I am glad he was able to reflect at the end of the day and see that it was an ok first day.

When W and I got to camp this morning we were thrilled to find a HUGE lost and found area. We found his water bottle and lunch bag. (crossing fingers his swim suit is in a lost and found by the pool) I had to send a suit that is a bit snug for today, but better than nothing. I asked a counselor to help him with sunscreen. When she saw his red cheeks she replied, “Oh dear. You got it.”

I feel much more relaxed about camp today. Which is funny because it’s not ME at camp. I hope W is having a great day.

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