Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Schedule - Day 2

So today is Macy's second day of Theater Camp. It only took two tries to get her out of bed at 7:30am and on the 8:30 bus. This is a huge transition for a family accustomed to staying in their pj's until noon most days. I knew she would be fine with it all, but I wasn't so sure the rest of us would be fine.

We're used to being together. For the past 12 years, we've spent most of the hours of most days together, and this summer is rocking that boat in a big, big way. I posted the other day about how the universe is presenting me with many opportunities to practice letting go of each of my three kids. First Janey went to Ecuador for 10 days. Then Charley went to Seattle for 8 days. Now Macy is attending a theater camp, all day Monday thru Friday for the next 5 weeks (5 weeks!). There's no doubt I'm experiencing a bit of the empty nest syndrome (how will they possibly make it without me? just fine, apparently).

I knew that this week was going to be tough on Janey, I just didn't realize how articulate she was going to be about it all. Janey led the way several years ago with her passion for theater. She has always been comfortable on stage and loves to sing and dance. Being the oldest, she has naturally had more access to classes and camps and performances, up until now. In May, when it was time to sign up for auditions for the theater camp she decided to bow out. the schedule was too intense, she didn't want to give up her summer. It seemed like the right choice. She had no idea her sister and her two best friends would actually all be accepted. Last night, things came to a head.

At bedtime, she sobbed while I rubbed her back. Through her tears she explained how much all of this really sucked. Not only was she being left behind each day as her three favorite playmates ventured out on the bus to days filled with drama, music and dance, she was questioning her ability to know what she actually wanted in life. Being so scheduled and busy didn't seem right for her. Being the one left behind and missing out on so much newness and fun didn't either. How in the world was she going to get through the next five weeks?

As she expressed herself so clearly I tried to just listen. It absolutely sucked. There was no reason (yet) for me to try to make it all better. My mind raced with ideas about how she could create a fun summer for herself, but I bit my tongue for a while. When she finally paused to catch her breath, I checked in. I let her know that when she was ready, I had some ideas about how she could still get what she wanted this summer (time with friends and fun activities doing things that she cared about). I reminded her that as much as it sucked right now, it wasn't a mistake that she hadn't auditioned for the camp. It simply meant that she was now available for something else. Something wonderful that was yet to be discovered. She dozed off while I smoothed her hair.

Today is a better day for Janey. I walked Macy to the bus stop and went for a run up in the hills. When returned, Janey and Charley were awake and had made themselves breakfast: chocolate cake and ice cream. I suppressed the urge to freak out (not going to fight this battle) and noted how everyone was smiling and no one was fighting. Ahhhh. Today we're going to find out about the requirements for volunteering at the animal shelter and the science museum. It's going to be another smokin' hot day, so we may take in a movie. Even though we will miss Macy tons, it's going to be a great day.

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