We all survived the birthday extravaganza and managed to have fun! Quite a feat for me considering I can easily get so worked up in the details and managing the party, that I forget to enjoy myself. Most of the party was pretty low maintenance while it was going on, I had very attentive helpers and it all seemed to go like clock work! Such a success!
I had no choice though, to switch modes almost immediately. Sunday morning marked Father’s Day and all that came with that, all to lead up to our first day of camp. Probably because there was so much chaos and attention devoted to the birthdays, I almost forgot about camp. Sunday night the fears sunk in. Drew was going from a very structured day, strong expectations that he clearly understood, and teachers that comprehended his needs. We were setting foot into the unknown this very Monday morning.
Last summer, despite struggles during the school year, he was very successful at camp. Either the “camp counselors” had lower expectations or he thrived in a more laid back setting. Either way I very minimally received behavioral complaints and he seemed content. Part of me felt that this may be the circumstance this summer too. Maybe because there was no set circle time where he’d have to exercise restraint, handwriting without tears to overwhelm him, or four walls to hold him back (most of camp is outside) – he would do better.
The larger part of me felt panic. Who’s going to follow his sticker chart? Are these teachers prepared to give him the set two warnings he has come accustom to when he acts out? Should I prepare these teachers for what they may have in store? Should we set up a team meeting to set him up for success? Breathe.
I settled for the laid back approach walking through those doors. Drew is going to have a lot of firsts ahead of him. Next spring he will graduate from this school. Next summer I intend to send him to a real camp. Next fall (2013) he will start kindergarten. I’m not sure that he should have to carry his wrap sheet with him through each of those experiences. Not to mention that I’m sure there is some documentation in this school (which he is at for camp too) that prepares these teachers for what they are in store for. So I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and trust that he will tackle this new camp circumstance with grace.
We walked in with our heads held high. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I spent a couple days prepping him for the fun ahead. He took one look at his buddy that was there from preschool and ran off with no sad feelings of leaving him mom for this new type of day. And as I was walking out of the building I ran into the social worker who had a game plan all strategized for his success at camp. Phew! It just showed me again how I chose the best place for him to be at this point in his life. He may have some big changes in the future, but for now its gonna be baby steps.
After picking him up, I learned he had a seamless, great day with “green” (as in red light for bad behavior, yellow for medium and green for GOOD!!) behavior all day! Go Drew! And to think, Mom wasted an ounce of worry on camp