"The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have."
~ Henry James
Liz & Rosie on their way to camp.
(the glasses are for fashion purposes only)
On Monday morning, I dropped my 9 year old off at sleep away camp for a week. This is actually the first of two camps that she will attend this summer, lucky duck. She gets to go to this one with her cousin Liz, who's 10, and is more like her best friend than a family member. It's a pretty typical program with all the standard activities ie. soccer, tennis, swimming. And for them, it's five days of total awesomeness. Last year, I felt nervous, excited, sad, and all the other emotions that moms tend to deal with when they are setting their daughter free for the first time. What if she had a tick in her hair? What if she forgot to take her allergy meds? What if she, gulp, got home sick? But on pick-up day, when I saw her sitting with her peers, singing with her group, goofing off with her cousin and smiling at me from ear to ear, I realized that she had been able to make it all work and to figure it out on her own. She might have had really dirty fingernails and have worn the same outfit all five days in a row, but she was all in one piece. And she'd had a ball, which is truly all that matters. Fast forward a year. As I helped her get ready to head off again, this time as a seasoned camper, I had none of my feelings of hesitation that I'd dealt with last summer. She was a year older, she knew the deal, and she could not WAIT to get there. It was all good. For both of us. Okay, I might have still been a little sad, but I kept it to myself. Sniff sniff. On Monday morning, as she threw all her last minute odds and ends into her backpack, she ran downstairs and asked me where her iPod was. "It doesn't matter," I said. "I don't want you taking it." She stopped in her tracks and gave me look along with a "BUT, MOM!" She then proceeded to tell me that all her friends brought them and that sometimes they had a chance to listen to music during free time. I still said no. And then I said something along the lines of, "You're going to CAMP, Rosie. You'll be living in a cabin in the wilderness with your friends. You're going to run around and play during the day and catch fireflies at night. There is a time and place for headphones and electronics and this is not it." Thankfully, she dropped it and continued to get ready to go. She might have been a wee bit annoyed, but I didn't care. It may not look cool to be the only one in her group without an iPod (which I highly doubt is the case), but I am 100% sure her experience will be so much better without it. As a runner, who listens and often depends on music when I'm on the road, I clearly understand and appreciate the value of it. But, as a mom, I also recognize the value of unplugging and just being a part of the scene during other times in our life. As a kid, I want her to recognize the importance of this, too. Maybe not now, but eventually. Rock on, Rosie, and dance to the beat of your own laughter!
Listen to this:
Ages Places - Wildlife Control