Our Camp Surprise: Kid-sickness

OK, I admit it: we miss our kids!

I’d have to say that it really took us by surprise.  We knew our kids would have a great time at overnight camp, that they’d meet many new friends, learn new things, challenge themselves, learn to be independent.  And we were confident that we’d chosen the very best sleepaway camp for our kids.

On that fateful day, we packed up our son for camp, loaded up the car, and drove off.  We got to camp, helped him get settled and then we left to drive home.  And that’s when it hit us.  We were kid-sick.  Of course we were happy for our son, but we missed him tremendously.  Eventually it got better, but eight years later, we still feel some of the same pangs every time we drive away from camp.  And I guess that’s a good thing because it’s far better to miss your kid than to breathe a sigh of relief that you’ll get a break from the little rascal.  But is there hope for kid-sickness?

Surprisingly camp pictures don’t even help

Just like every parent, we anxiously check for new pictures… Are our kids smiling?  Do they have a mysterious life-threatening bump on their forehead?  Do they look like they’re meeting new friends?  Heck, are they even in pictures?  Our son’s lack of photos in year one led us to believe that he wasn’t really at camp at all.  We weren’t sure where he was of course, but we were sure he wasn’t in camp since since he wasn’t in any of the pictures.

Thankfully our kids’ camp seems to have the happiest campers of any camp I’ve seen, at least in pictures.  And that makes us happy.  Really.

Too much sharing?

So what does this have to do with letters to camp?  It’s normal to feel some degree of kid-sickness.  But that doesn’t mean you need to share it with your kids.  Keep your child focused on camp, not on you, and you’ll help them to a better summer while you keep them from getting homesick.

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