File under “Parenting, miscellaneous”

It’s an interesting thing, sending your kids away for summer camp for two weeks.

On one hand, you’re excited for them. You know it’ll be good for them, build character, help them learn to be individuals, probably be a ton of fun, etc….

On the other hand, you suddenly are wondering who is taking care of these little people that you’ve devoted your life to protecting. A few days go by without a letter, and you think “What are they doing? Are they being picked on? Did they get forgotten on some forest hike and are lost and alone in the woods?!”

You begin questioning your parenting up to this point: Did I teach him how to make friends well enough? Should I have gone over how to start a signal fire, just in case? How many edible plants does she know?!

So you check the mail daily, looking for a letter that will, if it comes, probably only say something like “Hi Mom and Dad, how are the dogs?! I miss them, please hug them for me. Love, Max”

You check the camp website, looking for photos. (oh yes, it’s the 21st century. They post photos every few days of camp activities.) “Hey! There’s Max!! He’s gathered around the campfire!! Surrounded by 200 other kids, staring at somethng outside of the picture!” You learn nothing from this picture other than the fact that he was recently hangng out at a campfire, but it’s comforting anyway.

And it’s all good, it’s a part of growing up, it’s all training…

But then you realize, of course, that it’s not just training for them….

And when you make that realization, for whatever reason, the first day you dropped them off at school pops into your head. The picture of a tiny, beautiful little girl holding a SpongeBob lunchbox and smiling excitedly floats by, or the voice of a young boy echoes in your ears, shouting “School was the best! We got to play on the playground!! Do you want to come tomorrow?!”

You clear your head…

And vow to make the next few years memorable. Full of love. Important.

And you check the mailbox.

2 Replies to “File under “Parenting, miscellaneous””

  1. Beautiful!
    Tony, this just made me well up instantly. I find myself the same as you describe so much lately. As Ella has entered school… and thrived, and as she enters her first summer program..and thrives, I am filled with mucho ennui.
    Your blogs about parenting are always my favorite, thank you so much for sharing them with us. They always remind me to enjoy every single moment of this phenomenal roller coaster called parenting! You are truly, a great dad!
    Courtney

    1. Aww, thanks Courtney. :)It’s so great when they’re young like Ella, too, and you get to see their personalities start to really develop – just fascinating to see them start that journey to becoming the people they’ll grow up to be!
      It’s amazing, isn’t it, the whole parenting thing? I love being a dad!

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