So many of my friends are sending their kids to summer camps in the hope that the kids do not waste their time idling in front of the tv and learn something worthwhile, and spending dollars that would take care of my monthly mortgage bill. While I know some don’t have a choice with both parents working, the others think the camps teach so much that it’s an absolute must to send the kids to summer camps.
Daughter had started school when she was a little over 2 years. Of course with me being a stay-at-home-mom, she was in a half day program, that is until this summer. Her school being a daycare had no summer breaks, no vacations whatsoever except the 12 days of public holiday. Of course she had her breaks when we vacationed or took a day off here or there that is of course apart from the sick days. So this year with her starting kindergarten in the fall, the hubby and I decided to give her a break from the daily routine. Of course she is expected to wake up by a certain time and go to bed at her usual bed time, still has her swimming and gymnastic lessons and the one hour of study time. She is allowed just an hour of TV time and that too I must say she doesn’t watch regularly and is more often than not content in about 20 minutes other than the occasional days when nickelodeon or Disney characters seems to have camped on my living room.
So all in all I was a happy mom until some of my friends started raving about the summer camps their kids were going to. They were building jets with wooden blocks, going to science museum and zoo. Apparently the kids were learning so much while having so much fun. How exciting it all sounded. Made me wanting to be a kid again. But most importantly made me question my decision. Am I depriving her?? But then I told myself we go to the museum and zoo all the time. But is it the same ?? Again the mind started questioning. After all even I can’t deny that going to the zoo with your peers is more fun than going with your parents. Again the part of me that wanted to make myself feel better rationed in and calmed me down. I said to myself that it’s not every year that she will sit at home, it’s just this year that we are giving her a break. The whole new world of camps and school is just beginning to unfold in front of her. There is a lot of time for her to learn and enjoy with friends. But since I can afford to give her the time, why can’t we take advantage of the time spent together . After all we were also doing crafts, painting, baking and playing together. In between we were also having play dates and doing fun things. Most importantly we have been reading a lot of new books. The best part is she has been at home for a month now and I’am yet to hear ‘mommy I’am bored’. So we must be doing something right. After this talk with myself, I felt very good and was almost about to give myself ‘Mom of the Year’ crown.
Every thing was going fine till today morning. I had given her breakfast and was doing something in the kitchen when suddenly I see her blankly staring outside. Again my brain started to do overtime and I resigned myself thinking that keeping her home probably was not such a good idea. After all nothing interesting was going on in front of our house neither do we stay in a busy street where there is a lot of hustle and bustle that goes on for people to watch. While trying to finish my household chores I was making a mental note to call my friends and ask them about the upcoming camps. Suddenly I heard my Daughter, I had not realized that she had walked into the kitchen, “Sshhhh!!! Mama you are making too much noise. I am trying to figure out whether that is a cardinal or not and if you are so loud it’s going to fly away.” “A cardinal !!” was all I could come up with. “Yes mama, look carefully, up on that tree. Do you see the red bird ?”I saw her big bright eyes gleaming with excitement. I asked her is that what she was trying to figure for so long. She silently nodded, eyes still fixed on that tree.
After some time, I found her reading a book about birds. I asked her whether the bird that she had seen earlier was a cardinal or not and very indulgently she nodded saying indeed it was. She further went on to tell me about not only cardinals but about chickadees and robbins as well. That was a lot of info coming from a five year old.
So I thought to myself even though from next year she will also be going to summer camps if not for the whole summer but atleast a part of it, this year I can get a crash course in birds from my little 5 year old. So today once again I sleep in peace knowing that like the other kids she is also learning even if it’s just about birds. I think this time away from routined life is helping her develop some hobbies and interest. So when so many are spending their money, I get to have a crash course free 😉 . Isn’t that awesome ?? So till the time my brain springs another question on me, I’am at peace with my decision.
P.S : I have probably borrowed someone’s title but can’t remember whose. After much thinking, this is the best I could come up with.