Structured Planning for Camp Mommy And Exceptional Life!

This morning Michael is officially starting in another camp, Camp Mommy! But all jokes aside, I’ve been a little nervous about this next and last phase of Michael’s summer vacation. He’s had a solid seven weeks of structured summer camp experiences at two different summer camps, and I hope that I can show him a good time and we both don’t end up where we have inevitably ended up the other years, crying and fighting and counting down till school starts. Well Michael at least for his part, is not counting down to school. He is in fact more nervous than anything about it. But more about that another time. For now, it means he is excited to still have two more weeks of summer vacation. He also keeps telling me how happy he is to be home with me the next two weeks. On Saturday morning after a long walk to the library, we came home and I suggested planning out on paper our first week home together. We sat down with our calendars, me with my wall calendar and Michael with his dry erase one, and wrote down a little itinerary with activities each day. We have things like going to the beach with friends, swimming at the local pool, a play date at a splash park or movie, going to his favorite Dollorama (what kid or adult doesn’t love those stores 🙂 ),  then out for a smoothie, etc. I also made sure to talk about alternative things to do if it rains, such as baking with me, an indoor play center, or watching a movie at home and making popcorn. And that’s only week 1!  Perhaps the structure with camp helped, perhaps the fact that he is older, but overall he has been much more centered than usual this summer.

As I began to think about writing things down for Michael, it reminded me about what a very good therapist once told me to do when I was feeling overwhelmed with life.

“Take it off from up here and put it down there on paper.”

She obviously meant that what you were going over and over with in your head,  what you were ruminating about, needed to come out by writing it down on paper in front of you.  For me my constant talk was about money. It was a subject fraught with guilt, worry, excitement and stress. But since my husband and I have started doing a budget, and I have started planning out where I want to go with my writing in the future,  it has helped curb some of stress. The same is true for Michael who is talking about what he will be doing with me at home and about school. So we are writing down a schedule for our two weeks at home, and I will be writing a social story about starting school and following rules, two things he is having difficulty with at the moment.

What things are you ruminating  or going over and over about in your mind? What’s worrying you, Exceptional Moms? It’s really true that the best way to organize your thoughts is by putting them down in concrete form. You’ll start to see patterns in your ways of thinking and you’ll find solutions to your problems. Then, you’ll be that much more equipped to handle your Exceptional Children’s roller coaster of emotions too when the time comes. Until next time.

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