What do you do when you have a sleepaway camp dropout?⛺️❌ Hailey went to sleepaway camp last summer and while she had a great time she was still very homesick.
😫 She was all set to go back until my sister announced she was due with her 1st child the day she was leaving for camp. The first thing she did was scream and cheer with excitement 👍🏽👏🏽 and the next thing she did was announce that she wasn’t going to camp. 🤔😳 Everytime I would bring up camp to her it would always lead to negative and angry conversations. 😡😤She would shut me up or tell me to leave her alone. My husband was like She HAS to go! To which I said to him “does she?” I was afraid if I pushed her it would ruin camp for her forever. I knew it was normal to be homesick your first summer or even your second. It’s a hard thing to determine: how do you know when your kid is just not a Sleepaway camper? He thought she was being dramatic and just wanted to stay home and play on her phone 📱all day. I was like WITH WHO? All her imaginary friends? 👭❌ Almost everyone she knows will be at camp! We finally sat long and hard and thought about it. Since I wasn’t letting Dylan go this summer, to me 7 years old is too young and unnecessary, I was fearful that she wouldn’t want to go back next summer with Dylan. I thought to myself why does she realllllly have to go. It is so ridiculous that these kids feel the pressure that their only option is Sleepaway camp where we live. What happened to the summers relaxing with your family and friends doing fun things or doing nothing at all. I guess that’s just not my life here…or could it be? 🤔
After much much MUCH agonizing and deliberation I decided to pull the plug🔌👌🏽. People would ask me aren’t you afraid all the other girls in her bunk will bond without her? Not really. If they do there’s nothing I can do. I will not make decisions out of fear. I’ve been asked but what will she do now? Won’t she be bored. Maybe! Some people have said maybe it’s not the right camp for her she should have gone to a 7 week camp. UM NOOOOO. Not happening and she is adamantly against it. After hearing everyone’s opinions, even second guessing myself I started to think “damn I just wish I could just be strong enough and make a decision and say no. And then one day I did. I finally came to terms with the fact that- Sleepaway camp was. just. not. going. to. fit. this. summer. Finally… I became I ok with it. 😏 Coming to the decision was hard for me, being the self proclaimed Queen of Fomo🙋🏽 that I am. While it took me so many years to finally get on board with the merits of sleepaway camp now here I was turning it down for her. There would be no fun shopping for camp, no exciting getting all the bunk junk and matching bedding and accessories and stationary and camp clothing and jewelry.
No packing the trunks and the countdowns and excitement leading up to camp. No writing letters and preparing for visiting day excitement. It felt like a big loss. 🙍🏽Once we made the hard decision and came to terms with it we started to plan our new summer. NOW WE ARE THRILLED.😁🎉 Like ecstatic and can’t wait. 🎊🎊🎊🎊
Last summer, when she was away I started to mourn the things I would never do with Hailey again as a little girl. 😰 Like for example how would we never not spend the 4th of July again and not see fireworks together. 🎇❌So this summer I feel like I get a second chance to make it the best summer while she’s still young and a little girl. 👧🏻 This summer my kids are going to learn how to play with heir siblings. 👭👬Seems like a simple topic yet we are so busy during the year with running around and activities and play dates that they don’t get enough of this quality time. They are going to learn about going outdoors and just playing and using their imagination. They are going to ride bikes, and play with their dolls and toys and make forts and play in the sand, and do all those old fashion things that I did as a kid that we don’t have a lot of time to do during the school year. I feel like these childhood years are slipping slipping away ⏳⌛️and I can’t get them back and it pains me. We are going to learn how to cook together, and throw a ball around, play some tennis, maybe do some gardening… 🌺🌻💐🌸I started to think about how my kids are so overscheduled and never get breaks just to be…to sleep late, to have no where to go, no play dates to be at, no where to rush to, no doctor appointments no after school activities no busses to catch no alarms to shut off…they actually just get to be… So this summer I’m looking forward to a social experiment and seeing how the family dynamic is with 4 kids with no commitments ahead of time. I’m sure it won’t always be easy but I’m up for the challenge. There actually is an alternative camp option that I have my eye on, but right now we are gonna just play it be ear. If the girls wanna try it out for a week here and there that’s 🆒if not that 🆒too! I am excited to be a chill mom who isn’t stressed on a frantic time table, I’m excited to get to know my kids better on a different level…We rented a summer house 🏡 and we will have a lot of time together to try out an alternative summer vacation lifestyle that is actually quite common outside this bubble that we live in…While thousands of kids are having the time of their lives at Sleepaway camp we will be having a different kind of fun together. 💑👭👬🐶 So Sleepaway camp can wait for us till next year, this summer it’s all about family time and I couldn’t be more excited….stay tuned for The Shaps Unbummer Summer Checklist of things to do with your family in the summer time…📝