Aug 7, 2012 What's Going On
This past Saturday my husband I got to see our kids, after having very little contact with them for a month. They’re away at sleepaway camp for six weeks, and we were both anxious to know what was happening: if they’re having a good time, and if they want to go back. I won’t lie, this month without them has been blissful, and I would have been crushed if they’d told us they wanted to stay home next summer.
We’ve gotten sporadic letters and emails that practically shouted about how awesome camp was, and the pictures on the camp website said the same thing, but then we spoke to the kids on the phone, and it did not go all that well. So yeah, we wanted to see them on visiting day and try to figure out what our fate was for next summer.
Well, visiting day was awesome. When we got there we split up – I went to find Jake while my husband went to get Fiona. As I was walking to his cabin I saw him and yelled his name, and when he saw me he started barreling towards me so fast that I put my arms up defensively and yelled “Don’t knock me over!” He jumped on me and gave me the biggest hug ever, and for the next twenty minutes or so he was fighting tears. Poor kid is just like me: he wears his heart on his sleeve. I didn’t want him to be embarrassed in front of his friends, so I took him into his cabin and gave him a few minutes to get himself together.
We all met up in the sports center and while Fiona was obviously thrilled to see me, she was just purely happy – no tears. And they both said the same thing: they wanted to go back to camp for even longer next summer.
At one point when we were all walking together my husband took Jake aside and had a short conversation with him, and I was pretty sure I knew why: Jake likes to make me happy, and his dad wanted to make absolutely sure that he wasn’t just saying it all to please me. But no, even away from my smiling face, Jake assured him that he loved camp and wanted to come back.
It was all just such a huge relief. I’ve really loved this time without them. It will be nice to have them back, and I think this is about as long as I could stand to have them away, but really, it’s been great. And seeing them for a few hours was like a little infusion of kid happiness that will carry me through these last ten days without them.
But even in those few hours, I realized how much I’d gotten used to the complete absence of certain things. Bickering, for one. Logistics, for another. And when the kids wouldn’t stop wrestling with each other after lunch I had to stop myself from yelling. I was not going to ruin our little reunion.
I don’t have a ton of patience. I’m honestly not sure how I survived having toddlers. And having this time alone has showed me just how much of my energy is sucked up either dealing with their little conflicts, or actively ignoring them. My goal when they come back is to take things more in stride, or at least figure out how to actually ignore them when they’re getting on my nerves, and not just make it look like I am. I’ll only have to do it for 10.5 months, before my next break. Not that I’ll be counting or anything… :-)
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