we are now smack dap in the middle of our fifth full week at home and something fascinating has happened… the girls have switched into what i can only describe as “camp mode”.
the first week was hard, for the girls there was a lot of uncertainty; what was e-learning going to entail, how will i see and talk to my friends, which activities will i be able to continue, how will i pass ALL this time at home?
for me it meant a lot of preparing; who knew what markets would remain open, would fresh meat and fish be readily available, what about medicines, how would i manage to keep the girls busy as the days went by?
the second and third weeks were really a process of settling in. the teachers and school “figured out” e-learning, and so did we; we stocked up on really important supplies- both foodwise and funwise; and we got ourselves organized into some sort of routine (this seems to be ever shifting, but for now it works).
through the blur of all this change and adjustment though an extraordinary thing occurred.
one day, as we sat around the dinner table, i realized that all three girls had arrived at the table with their water bottles- just like at camp!
asya’s was from her summer session at georgetown, alara’s was a coveted glow in the dark rockbrook water bottle, and alegra had a mason jar from earth fare filled to the brim and ready to go.
from a practical standpoint i wasn’t surprised, the water bottles are just so easy, and require us to do less dishes.
but what did surprise me is what the appearance of these bottles meant; i had been so worried about how the girls would handle this new reality of staying at home. how would they manage when their lives suddenly slowed down; especially after being so busy all year.
but i shouldn’t have worried.
thanks to summers spent at camp, they already knew how!
summer camp may not be the best fit for all children; i was frequently homesick as a child and probably would not have enjoyed sleepaway camp. but my girls love it. and i believe that they have learned a range of skills that they would not have been able to develop with their parents around all the time.
specifically, camp has taught my children to be more independent; more resilient; to make decisions based on what they need, even in the face of peer pressure; how to fill unstructured time in a way that makes them happy; and also how to deal with strong emotions- something we have plenty of right now.
ever since i noticed that we had entered “camp mode” more things have started to catch my attention…
asya and alara are reading through books at a breakneck pace- i can barely keep them in books- and alegra has read more in the past three weeks than she has since school started.
we have done countless art projects; daily yoga classes have become a key part of our routine; alegra has played tons of games- and learned some new ones-like hopscotch; and for the first time in a long time, there is SO MUCH conversation going on. (we aren’t singing at the dinner table yet but give us a couple more weeks at home- i’ll keep you posted!)
obviously, the lazy, lovely days of summer camp cannot compare to the somewhat stressful, uncertain times of the coronavirus pandemic. but there isn’t a single person with whom I’ve spoken who hasn’t said that they aren’t so sad to be slowing down.
harder for some to do, and easier for others; but “camp mode” seems to be working for us right now.