Tuesday, July 26, 2011
P.S. I Hate it Here Too/Two
I recently blogged about the letters that come home from summer camp that knock your world off its axis because there's no disputing the fact that at the moment those letters were written, your child was indeed miserable. Having dear friends contending with this very issue at the time, I was quick to point out that the letter reflected a moment in time and the moment was likely the one miserable moment among thousands of joyful moments. One dear friend let me know that a week after receiving the letter declaring misery, the same child sent a precious letter to herself at home, letting her home-self know that her camp-self was having a blast and should definitely return to camp next summer. How awesome is that?! So here's my story: one of our daughters who is away at camp for 8 weeks this summer, enjoyed the first 4-week session immensely. We visited her and her sister this past weekend and she looked happy and fabulous and the stories were bubbling out of her. The problem is that this child is not very good at goodbyes and visiting day - a necessity for parents and most campers - is excruciatingly difficult for her. The stories that flowed when we greeted her were replaced by tears when we said goodbye. Yesterday we received the first letter from the second session. It said: "Dearest family, First session was so much better... I know you guys won't let me but I want to come home so badly. Can you think about it? Please." It was so sad. We were so sad. We are so sad. We know that the letter is reflective of a sad moment but let's be real - evidence of that moment is like putting a dagger through my heart! Bring on the jellybeans!
Camp is clearly a growing experience for all of us. Just when you think you're out of the woods...
Funny that as I re-visit this issue (for my own therapeutic value), I also happened to receive a timely note from the author/editor of P.S. I Hate it Here. Diane Falanga let me know that she is currently working on volume 2 and looking for camp letters. If any readers would like to submit their kids' camp letters for possible inclusion, she'd love to see them. You can reach her at http://www.facebook.com/psihateithere or firstname.lastname@example.org.