My husband and I dropped my son off at summer camp today. It's a special camp for kids with all sorts of different disabilities (or abilities, depending on how you look at it). They have numerous counselors, therapists, nurses and volunteers on staff, so he'll never be alone and I feel fully confident in their ability to take care of him and keep him safe.
In theory. In actuality, I'm a nervous wreck.
We had to fill out many, many pages of forms to tell them every single little detail about his normal daily routine, what he can and cannot do, what he can and cannot eat. It seriously took me days to fill out. Even with that, I still had a hard time not blathering on and on to his cabin counselor about every little habit of his and every single thing he might possibly want or need.
It was tough leaving him there. As we were driving off the camp grounds, I was thinking that other parents probably high five themselves when their kids go to camp for a week. It was all I could do to not turn the car around and go back and get him.
I know that this will be good for him. It will give him a chance to gain some independence, meet new friends and try new things that Mom and Dad are too scared to let him try at home. But wow, I never knew that I would feel so lost without him here.
Yep, this will be good for him. I'll keep telling myself that tonight while I'm laying here staring at the ceiling. I wonder if any parents ever sneak back into the camp to check on their kids at night?
Shabby chic Sandy
I can totally imagine how you are feeling. When Wyatt went to camp I called (even though they wouldn't let me talk to him) just to make sure he was okay. Wyatt doesn't have any disabilities. I have never been away from Gage--other than when he goes to school. Face it--us Moms of disabled kids are the ones that meet their every need. I know though that your son will get constant care and he will be fine. They would be too afraid to be sued not to take good care of him! Does Max understand the concept of camp? Gage wouldn't. But Gage would enjoy all the attention. Do take advantage of the time Max is at camp. Have some fun. Go thrifting! Just know the fact you wanted to run back and get him just means you are a good Mom.
Good for you for even taking the chance and sending him to camp! Just when you think you can function without him, he will be home, and you'll wonder why it scared you. I hope someone take photos as camp for the parents. That would be great.
Even if he is in good hands it's normal for you to feel that way. They can get ahold of you if they need you. Try to do some fun thing for you. I remember when my son had his first day of day camp. He was maybe 10. We had to drive him an hour each way. BEtween his behaviors and his seizures I never got any time alone. I came home filled the bathtub up lit candles and jumped in. Another day I had a massage. But the third day it was just a normal day. Have some fun. HE will have lots to tell you about when he comes home. ((((HUGS))))
Ceekay-Thinkin of Home/Doublewide Decor
You are going to worry and miss him...but I bet he is loving this bit of independence!! My kids LOVED camp!!
It will be a good experience for you all. We have to let them find their way, without us. Camp will let him explore, experiment a little. He'll be home soon enough. Hang tough, mom.
Congratulations, Pam. My heart aches for you because I know you are anxious and scared. I would be, too. Even sending able-bodied kids off to camp is scary. I can remember when MamasBoy went off to Christian camp -afraid that they wouldn't watch him in the spring fed lake...that they would lose him in the woods. I think part of it is that he was the baby of the family. I think we are always more protective of the "babies"...or those that need us more.
God bless you, Pam. Take a whiskey and sleep in! xo Diana
Praying for a special PEACE this week while your son is gone... that you will be able to REST in knowing that he is well cared for, and that you will be able to ENJOY your week.
Thinking of you!
What a gift you have given him. He will come back a more self relient young man and with marvelous stories of adventure.
WHAT A FANTASTIC BLESSING THIS IS TO YOUR CHILD, YOU AS PARENTS AND ITS AWESOME THAT THEY DO HAVE A CAMP YOUR CHILD CAN GO TO. MANY THANKS TO THOSE THAT WORK,VOLUNTEER SPONSER ETC THESE CAMPS AND OTHERS.
HUGS TO YOU MOM I AM SURE ITS HARD. I AM THANKFUL WHEN MY KIDS GO TO GO TO 1 week camps also.
Awww! I can't imagine how much you must be worrying. I'm praying that this will be a wonderful week for all of you. That your son makes memories and friends that will last him a lifetime and that you and your husband are able to find some time to just rest, relax, and enjoy each other this week. It probably doesn't seem like it now - but the week will pass faster than you think I suspect.
Pam, you are very brave to send your son to sleep-away camp. Our son is autistic and attends day camp (for special needs kids) during the summer. We haven't yet sent him to overnight camp.
I'm sure it will be a great week for your son. He'll be home in no time!
I can honestly tell you the first time I dropped Alex off at camp I balled my head off!!~ I can only tell you, he had the time of his life, and never missed us until the last day. I am betting your young man is going to do the same. I know it's tough:(
I'm wiping away happy tears. It's bitter sweet and a HUGE milestone. I would an anxious mess. Thinking of you and sending you lots of "virtual" HUGS!!
I got tears just reading this!! I had a hard time leaving my kids for just a 3 hour afternoon camp today...sniff, sniff. But when I picked them up they were pretty much screaming with excitement over all the great stuff they did...so just imagine all the fun your guy is having...and all he is experiencing. Thinking of you!! Laurel
Hang in there, Pam. I bet he is having a wonderful time, although I'm sure everyone telling you that probably doesn't help. Hopefully as the days pass by, you'll begin to feel a bit better. In the meantime, I am sending hugs your way! 🙂
You are being a Mom and that is ok!
He'll be fine. Just think of all the things he'll do.
Before you know it he'll be back at home!
Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
Pam, this IS a hard thing to do...and I am sure the other parents were feeling just the same way! I hope he has a wonderful week!
A Big XO being sent your way...
You are just a Wonderful Mother. Plain and simple!
I just got all teary-eyed thinking of how hard that must have been. I know when Em leaves I'm totally lost and instantly exhausted and count the hours until she'll be back. I'm sure he's going to have an AMAZING time, he's a really great kid and I'm sure all the counselors are going to fall in love with him.