Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer camp

The daycare does a full summer program every year for returning schoolkids. Since Jack and Dean are entering kindergarten in the fall they were promoted into the schoolage program with the big kids. That means they don't take naps and they have to keep up with the big kids. It's great experience for them as they navigate the hierarchy and I'm completely comfortable with it knowing that most of these kids have been attending the daycare since they were babies so they are almost as patient and kind as the teachers. Every day this week when I've arrived to take them home, Jack is playing with the big kids - mostly basketball or he takes turns on the big kids' diez - and Dean is playing with the girls or Frank and James. No naps though is taking a toll - they are exhausted by the time we get home. They have that "summer" look - bloodshot eyes, skin still shining with sunscreen, cheeks flushed with heat and exertion. They're too tired to eat, too tired to put their shoes/clothes/lunch boxes away, too tired to go to bed. And it isn't just the lack of naptime that has them so beat - it's all the activities! They went swimming Monday and Tuesday, went to the lake for swimming and castle building yesterday, and rollerskating today. The rest of the summer is equally busy. There's piano and recorder lessons for those interested, trips to the beach for camping, disneyland, catalina island, movies, and swimming every day. Of course there's also the restaurant week in July when the kids create the menu, do the shopping, cooking, serving, take reservations, etc. The end of the summer potluck BBQ will be a bittersweet day - truly Jack and Dean's last day at the daycare (except they'll return each summer) but the kids put on a show and I'll be smiling through my tears.

And that's all I can do, really. Give them guidance but give them room to grow, watch as they try to make their way, give encouragement and advice but ultimately get out of their way. Then stand from the sidelines and be proud - smiling through my tears.

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