Michael is nervous/excited for summer camp. This is completely normal, and I am so glad he is able to share his feeling so openly with me. This has given me the opportunity to share with Michael times when I have been nervous/excited too. I know he will have a great time at summer camp. He always does. This year he will be doing two different camps than in previous years, but I know he will sail through it. I have made sure to talk with him about what he will be doing. We even had a chance to visit the camp he will be at starting tomorrow, to talk to the coordinator, and to hear about what his counselor will be like. She sounds like a great match for Michael!
I can’t believe a few short years ago I was so scared to send him to summer camp. I knew he needed to be active, but wanted to make sure he had the emotional maturity to be away from home for a whole school day. We are there now, and Michael looks forward to this as much as I do. We both get our break from one another and get to be around people our own age, then meet up, talk and play after camp together. I know he will share all the stories, and after his six weeks of camp he will enjoy a less structured schedule with me and then with me and his Dad when Dad will be home.
I think back to what a Mom once said to me, how we start teaching our babies to move away from us pretty much from the second they are born and come out of our womb. Loving a child is like no other feeling in the world. It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, open for all the world to see, and staying strong at times when you want to fall apart. It’s about teaching said child, challenges or not, to fly away from you as soon as possible, because that is the natural order of things. It is learning to say no for their own good, nursing them through failure, heartbreak, sickness and celebrating every joy with them. When Michael succeeds, I succeed, when he fails, I fail. I know he is separate from me, but I feel him and his spirit in every way. The bond you have with your child is never gone and always remains powerful. That is why seeing him move away from me, becoming independent, mumbling at times like a teenager fills me with joy. My little boy is flying solo and doing great.
Exceptional Parents, what are your plans for your Exceptional Child/dren? Are they in structured summer camp, at home or are you doing things as a family? Whatever you choose, go with what works for your child and your family. And remember each day to help that baby bird fly. Until next time.