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Archive for June 18th, 2009

Spawn has been in daycamp this week at the local children’s museum, and this week has not been quite what the kid was expecting. 

When we signed up for the various daycamps a couple of months ago, I went through the various brochures and camp descriptions, line by line, and Spawn decided which ones were interesting enough to agree to.  This sort of thing is always a delicate process, because Spawn can be quite agreeable and even adventuresome but can also be kind of a pill about trying anything.  I have to be sure to hit the right moment in time, when the stars and planets are aligned and the kid is in a agreeable mood, before attempting to sign up for anything.  If you are not a natural-born diplomat this process can be quite maddening.  But I hit upon a happy mood one day and we were able to line out all the daycamps at one sitting. 

This week’s daycamp is an acting camp.  I was a bit dubious about Spawn wanting to do this, but this kid said yes to it.  It’s not a question of tapping into the drama — the kid is quite dramatic.  It’s the learning to let go of the self-consciousness and dive in.  To be honest I struggle with that even at 41 years of age, and when the kid said “I’ll do that” I didn’t question it, because if you can learn it at 8 that’s a lot better than still trying to overcome it at 41. 

It has not been a lot of fun for the kid this week, I’ll tell you that.  But thank goodness (and the medication), the kid has not had any major meltdowns or clingyness.  Spawn has squared shoulders and marched in with a confidence that has mostly belied the interior quaking, and I am amazed at the transformation.  I think the knowledge that it’s only one week out of the whole summer has eased the issue a bit. 

Years ago a company I worked for sent me to a Dale Carnegie course, and this is something I have never regretted saying yes to.  Not that I put a lot of it into practice, but just having the knowledge has been a powerful help.  This camp has been somewhat the same for Spawn, and I hope the lessons learned this week will carry over into other situations.  It’s been so hard for the kid to struggle in comparison to peers at school, and it’s made Spawn sensitive and self-conscious about being different.  The trick has been to encourage the kid to excel at the things that come naturally, and learn to adapt to the things that are difficult. 

It’s been hard to see the kid in these struggles, but I know that by not allowing the kid to work through them, I’m not being a good mom.  Hard work is sometimes its’ own reward.  And to borrow a bit of wisdom from my own mother, someday the kid will understand why I did the things I did. 

 

— Mox

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