Shorty #1 is at day camp this week. This is her third of four different weekly day camps this summer. In previous years she’s bopped around the various community centres and day camp programs in the city, happily adapting to her new comrades and surroundings with ease. Until today.
This week she is at soccer camp. She’s agile and coordinated so the thought of soccer camp seems great. Plus she LOVED that she got new (used) cleats for the event. However, like me, #1 isn’t a fan of the learning curve and this is completely new for her. She needs to learn a skill and apply herself to the steps needed to adopt said skill. And that for her is a major drag.
Day 2. 11:00am. My phone rings. “Hi. Is this Shorty #1’s mom?”
“This is Summer Camp Counsellor X. Shorty has hurt her knee and is asking to go home.”
Ok. I might have been able to predict this had I not been blinded by optimism! Turns out #1 had taken a soccer ball to the knee which was a shocking turn of events seeing as she was playing soccer. When I finally got her on the phone I asked if she was really hurt? “YES.” Did she need ice. “Um, no.” Do you need to come home? EMPHATIC “YES!”
Its been a rough summer for #1, so rather than follow my book-learned parenting brain and say things like “Tough it out” or “You need to honor your commitment” or “Do you know how much those big socks cost?” I listened to my heart and said “Don’t worry, I’m on my way.”
This camp is out on the extreme other end of the city, so in the car I get for the 40 minute drive over there. I arrived just in time to meet up with her and the soccer gang skipping from the field to lunch. Hand in hand with a brand new friend, she skipped straight past me. Uh, hello? Remember the call we had no less than 40 minutes ago when you were crying in pain? Oh yeah, right she nodded. “Just wait here while I eat my lunch with my friends.” she says.
So the Shorty and I had a little heart to heart. She hoped I would take her home and deliver an afternoon of non-stop shenanigans and good times. Sorry Shorty, Mom’s going back to work. That was the straw, she decided to hang in there for the long haul and is ready to get back at it tomorrow. So we cuddled for a second and off she skipped to lunch with her new pals.
Then I ran out all the way back to the car like Rocky Balboa, fist pumping to anyone who was watching. Its T-minus one week to back to school. But who’s counting?