Weekly snapshots of my girls and life in general in 2015
Yup, last week here for us in France. The girls finished their summer camp here in Normandy on a high note. Two weeks ago, when they first started going, they would greet me every morning with a question like “Can we stay with you today?” And every time, I would have to rationalize, in my head and out loud, the one million reasons why it’s good for them to go to camp.
You see, this is their fourth year of going to a French summer camp where lots of kids know one another and all speak fluent French and very little English. The girls speak French but not like a native speaker obviously. In years past, they had looked forward to going to camp except for this year. Chiara told me, “Well, they know we’re Americans and that we don’t live here.” I would retort back and say that this is a rare opportunity to play and learn side by side with kids who come from a very different reality and childhood experience as the girls have. To this response, both girls would simply sigh. Then, I would drop them off every morning with a heavy heart while wondering whether or not we made the right decision.
Finally, things changed a bit last week. They met some other kids who were a lot friendlier and nicer to them. Ines came home gushing about her newfound friend and how wonderful she is, etc. I could tell by how fast they got ready in the morning on the second week that their camp experience this year was getting better. And even when I picked them up at 5PM everyday, I would see two smiling girls, eagerly waiting to share their adventures and mishaps.
Personally, the lesson I learned last week was that I, as a parent, sometimes need to just step aside and let my children and situation/issue sort themselves out. By not succumbing to the girls’ pressures of not going to camp right away, I gave them the opportunity to tolerate an uncomfortable situation and figure things out for themselves without too much meddling from me. And in the end, I suppose that’s what we all want — children who are emotionally resilient and can fend for themselves, right? Hope this approach doesn’t lead to too many hours on a therapist’s couch 🙂 Time will tell…
Have a great week!