Parenting

Sleepaway Camp

05/28/2011

Photo taken with my Canon Powershot S95

Today we went to visit my daughter’s new sleepaway camp. She has only been to sleepaway camp one other time and that was only for two weeks. This week she will also be away for two weeks. Why only two weeks? Because I’ll miss her. Simple. If she would like to stay a third it would be OK with me, but I’ll really really miss her.

Sleepaway camp was never an option for me. In fact, I only knew it existed from the movies when I was a kid. What pre-adolescent girl doesn’t enjoy a summer romance at camp flick. I certainly did. But sleepaway camp was something “other” kids did, and by “other” I really mean “not Spanish”. However, when the matter of sleepaway camp was raised to me by my daughter, I considered and went for it.

Why? Having lead an atypical American childhood, I’d always resolved to let my kids have one. Ididn’t do this out of any sense of regret, though. There is no intent on my part to say I wish I’d been raised differently. However, I do think that it is good for kids to feel “normal” to a certain extent. If by sending my oldest to summer camp she can individuate for a while and find a “voice”, I reasoned, she might benefit from it. However, being away for half the summer is not an option for me simply because I love her, I’d miss her and I want to spend the summer with all my girls. Very very soon high school will approach and then whiz by and chances are she will be going. While I still have an opportunity to spend time with them, well, by jove, I will.

So this summer she’s off again for two weeks to an all girls camp. She wasn’t so happy about the all girls part, but that’s OK. At her tender middle school age there is nothing wrong with taking a break from a co-ed environment, not worrying about what boy is around, and just acting like a, well, girl.

I hope she has fun. I’ll miss her.