But they're all totally enjoying their camps this week, and all seem really relaxed and happy -- and I SO enjoy not getting the grim look from the counselors about the boys misbehaving together.
Gabriel is in fencing camp. This was motivated by the awesome swordfight scenes in the move The Princess bride, but actually, he's totally enjoying it. So much that maybe we've finally found an activity that he'll pursue! When I pick him up from camp, he's happy playing some game or messing around with other boys his age. Now that's what camp is about.
Julian is in a Lego Robot camp, which we thought would be a semi-bust. It's Lego, but it wasn't the most desirable Lego camp or something...I forget, it was a concession at the time. But he LOVES it. The robots they create have all sorts of cool sensors and remote controls, and need programming and do all sorts of cool things like avoiding walls. He can't stop talking about it and absolutely loves it.
They don't do Legos all day though...after the robotics building, it's easy to find Julian playing a ball game with other kids, controlling the flow of the game, able to dominate and order kids around, basking in his stardom, be as much as he can be -- without the crushing influence of his dominant older brother.
Katrina is in gymnastics camp -- perfect for her, I don't hear a whole lot about gynmastics, but she does happily mention things like jumping on trampolines and into a foam pit. Well, she's only 5, OK!
Maybe this too, like fencing for Gabriel, will be her one outside activity. My friends' kids all have 2 or 3 activities; mine have 0, 0 and 1 -- only Julian has Kung Fu, which now he claims he wants to quit. Gabriel and Katrina are a lot harder to get interested in things; if it's fencing and gymnastics, so be it!
When not at the gymnastics academy, Katrina's camp does regular daycamp stuff, like play "link-tag". Katrina always seems happy when I pick her up, though if she's playing with anyone (and she usually isn't), it's older boys. Sheesh, doesn't she get enough of those at home?!
This morning I ran into Gabriel's 2nd- and 3rd-grade teacher this morning at the Y. In addition to being a 3rd-grade teacher, she'salso a Mom, and expressed consternation about school starting so soon.
And it IS soon! We have only 3 more weeks of camps before school starts. It's not even August yet, and school is right around the corner!
But I have one more camping trip in me this summer -- minor considering I'd expected to camp 4-5 times this summer -- so it's time to start planning. Fast!
However, I'm also feeling intense internal pressure at work. Not only to complete numerous tasks for customers -- at my old job nothing I did mattered; now customers actually care -- but also to complete some classes and exams. I'd set myself up mentally to work every weekend the next 4-5 weekends, but that takes us past school starting, and conflicts with another camping trip.
To make matters worse, school starts on a Monday this year. It used to start on a handy weird Thursday, making a long weekend a natural outcome. Certainly it meant a "day before school starts" outing, which the past 3 years have meant an outing to some sort of vintage military museum.
But this year? School starts on Monday? Seriously?? Now what?!
Being almost 49 years old, I know what's truly important, what will really stick in the end. A summer camping trip will last in my -- and their -- memory and psyches FAR FAR longer than me finishing some online course. So even if there are only 3 summer weekends left, a forest getaway is far far more important than passing Hewlett-Packard Training Exam HP0-Y43. But -- I need to do that too!!
(It'll be hard to top our Mom's camping trip of 2 weekends ago though -- even Gabriel said, out of the blue, "When to do get to do another 'friends' camping trip? That was SO FUN!")
Camping, work, planning for winter (that's a whole other story...!) -- I think I'll fall back on my all-time favorite character's philosophy: "I can't think about that right now. I'll think about that tomorrow."