We post this every year, but here it is again. Cue the tough love…
It’s incredibly natural to go into apocalyptic mode in these next few weeks. You know what we’re talking about:
What do you want your last meal to be?
Do you want to go to the movies tonight or just relax and hug? You won’t have another chance!
Would you like to take Fluffy for a final hike around the neighborhood? We might not have time next week!
How about Grandma and Grandpa? Let’s give them one final visit!
Hey, this is your last birthday party with school friends before camp! Make it count!
Give your brother one huge final good kiss goodnight! You won’t again till August!
We know you’re well-meaning, but we have some advice for what it’s worth: stop. STOP! It’s very dramatic! You’re freaking her out! You’re freaking us out! You’re freaking yourself out! Let’s all try to remain normal and happy and calm. Play it cool! Let’s enjoy final pre-camp moments while trying not to belabor or draw attention to them. Let’s focus not on what your daughter will be missing, but what she’s about to embark upon. In our experience, end-of-world conversations, conversations focusing on last-moments-at-home breed anxiety for a number of reasons. Here are a few of those reasons, and here’s what your daughter might be thinking: I don’t know what I want my last meal to be! Oh my gosh, but what if I pick the wrong one and I want mom’s mac & cheese tomorrow and I can’t have it! How can I live with that regret! I hadn’t thought about seeing a movie or walking Fluffy, and I’d sort of forgotten that I wasn’t kissing my little brother goodnight all summer. AH! That’s scary! Am I SURE I want to give all of this up?
Of course the answer is a resounding “YES!” The gifts of camp are immeasurable and what she’ll be experiencing in a few days is life-changing. So let’s not focus on a final tuck-in or that one last hug. Keep your daughter happy and focused on moving forward towards camp. Will you treasure those final moments? YES! Should you talk about them with your daughter? Probably not. We’ll say it again. Play it cool.
Smile, keep calm, talk about the great adventure she’s about to have. “Goodnight, Honey. I love you, and I’m so excited for you” always works. It’ll make it easier for your daughter to get on the bus, and it’ll give her the courage to get off that bus once she’s down the winding road at Camp Timber Tops. We’ll take it from there!