I‘m thinking maybe I need a new category for the blog: “Notes for future therapy sessions.” That way, the boys’ future therapists will have an instant body of research from which to draw.
You can’t really blame me, though. I mean, I had a COUPON!
Like so many of the misadventures in my life, it started with the best of intentions. I needed child care for the last week of August for the big boys. Late in the spring, I received one of those group buy e-mails offering half-price day camp. I checked the location and it was literally around the corner from where I worked. I checked the ages and they qualified. I checked the description and it said there was a circus theme with juggling and acrobatics. Circus camp? PERFECT! Clickety click, and they’re registered. Oh how I love the Interwebs.
Life is funny, yanno? You register your kids for a summer camp right around the corner from your work, and then six weeks later when the camp week comes up, you’re not working there anymore. You’re actually working way downtown, and what was right around the corner is suddenly a 20-minute detour out of your daily routine. Oops. If only that were the worst of it.
Beloved usually handles the morning routine, and so he was doing drop-off duty the first day of camp. He called me in mid-morning to check in, and reported that there was some apprehension when he pulled up the driveway and the boys noticed the sign for a dance school. A what now? Oh well, they’re probably renting out the space during the summer for extra income. That makes sense.
I should interject here with a little anecdote. Three years ago, one of the boy’s teacher called me to let me know that she had put him in the equivalent of a time-out during gym class. They were doing some sort of dance, and he had dug in his heels and abjectly refused to dance with a girl partner. It was one of the few times I got a call from the school that year, and I was more entertained than concerned. He doesn’t like to dance with girls? Meh, that will change.
Ahem. It took until the end of day two for the reality of our camp crisis to become apparent. It was not Circus Camp at all – it was Dance Camp. *dun dun DUNNNNN* Not only was it dance camp, but the ratio of girls to boys was about 15:1, which will be great odds later in life, but for your average 9 year old is one of Dante’s circles of hell. Even one whose best friend happens to be a girl.
And, true to his earlier self, it seemed my boy was rather, shall we say, resistant to the idea of dancing. I spent most of the drive home that day reassuring him that if it was truly that bad, he only had to tough it out two more days – I was scheduled for a day off that Friday anyway, and he could stay home with me. But he did have to suck it up for two more days, so we talked a bit about the value of trying new things, maintaining a positive attitude and making the best of a bad situation. And the whole way home, I was kicking myself. Dance camp? Really? How did you miss THAT one? Ugh.
(For the record, the other boy was all over the dance camp idea. I’m being vague on purpose here, because they’re getting to the age where their stories are their own and I am making some efforts to protect their privacy while still milking these stories for all they’re worth. If you know my boys IRL, you’ll have little trouble guessing which was which.)
Then a funny thing happened. On day 3, the boys were cheerful and full of stories of the adventure of their day. The boy who wanted to quit the day before said maybe it was not so bad, and he’d tough it out for the week. And oh, by the way Mom? There’s a show on Friday, can you come and watch us? And the day after that, there was question as to whether they could register for another week of camp next summer — or maybe even for the whole summer?
Huh. Turns out when you stop sulking and actually participate, you end up having a much better time of it. Who woulda thunk it?
Which bring us to the Friday show. Lucas and I both attended, and all four of us were surprised when Beloved managed to scootch out early and make it to the show, too. It wasn’t exactly Broadway, but we were well entertained nonetheless.
So that’s the story of how I accidentally registered the boys for dance camp, and how they overcame the adversity and managed to have a good time after all. And now I can take full credit for my actions and say with a certain smugness that I knew it would work out fine, and broadening their horizons was my goal all along. I totally intended this as a life lesson on keeping an open mind and trying new things.
At least, that’s what I’ll tell their future therapists…
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