I know, it is so cliche. But yes, it feels like just yesterday I brought my oldest home from the hospital and now he is off wandering the streets and making his own purchases!
We could have left Leif in his school for the summer this year and moved him to public school in the fall. And it was awfully tempting. But his teacher discouraged us from this a bit and I agreed with her. Leif has always been pretty tentative about doing anything on his own.
Compare to me at 5 when I was going across the street to the park by myself, while my mom stayed home with my napping little sister. And it wasn't too long after that I was walking the three blocks to Mini Mart with a dollar in my hand to buy candy. When Leif even sees kids out doing things on his own he is worried for them.
Making the big leap to public school and riding the bus (without me)? We decided he needed a change of scenery and an opportunity to gain some self confidence to prepare for this.
I signed him up for three science camps at the local branch University as well as Adventure Club at our health club.
In two days of Adventure Camp I think he has grown amazingly.
This morning he didn't really want me to leave him there, stating, "mom, you would have lots of fun with us all day!" I know I would, I told him, but I need to go to work.
Then he hit the door of the Kid's Club Fitness Room and a few kids yelled his name and the word "dodgeball" was uttered and he was off. No time even for a kiss goodbye.
I waited anxiously all day to hear how his day went. It consisted of games and also on the schedule was a field trip to a local grocery store.
I have had to learn a lot too. I have had to trust that he will eat his lunch (fail today), get sunscreen on, knows how to use his inhaler (or at least get help) if he needs it, not lose his swimsuit, towel, goggles, etc. Then there is the whole thing with money. The girl who registered him told me that it is probably good to send him with a few bucks so that when they go on field trips that the kids can buy snacks or drinks.
The whole concept of my son having pocket money is a new one for both of us. On vacations, this hasn't been hugely successful, but probably more because AB and I haven't embraced it fully. Even when he wants to spend his money we have him hand us the money and order it online or pay for it ourselves. Leif is funny with money, he loves to have it, doesn't really want to spend it.
So today I suppose it shouldn't surprise me when he came home with treats that "he" purchased at the grocery store on the field trip, but still had his $4. He presented me with a receipt, so I was a little concerned until he finally owned up to the fact that his good friend spotted him the dollar. He frowned when I explained that he didn't need to accept money from his friend, he had his own for that purpose.
"But she wanted me to have it," he tried to convince me. (And I am not sure that I don't believe him.)
"You WILL be repaying her the dollar," I instructed much to his dismay.
A milestone of sorts... my son's first trip to the grocery store without me, with money in hand and the ability to buy whatever he wanted. (I am not sure how far "whatever" extended...)
He came home proudly holding two bags of caramels. "Look mom! TWO for $1!" he prided himself on. He also told me they were chocolate... he is in for a surprise.
He also came home talking about "Chef Boyardee".
I used to love Spaghetti-O's when I was growing up. But call me a snob... we haven't gone to that yet.
Tomorrow he is going to "Rollerena" for roller skating and I have pretty nearly given him permission to play air hockey the whole time and not skate in order to save his neck (and butt, and head, and knees, and elbows). I have taken him a few times with little success.
Last night I asked him what his favorite thing was, "dodgeball" was his quick reply. But thye do random sports (tennis, wallyball, swimming, etc., at the club) as well. I asked him tonight if he would rather go back to his Montessori school and I have never heard him scream "NO!" more vigorously. "We get to play fun games ALL day long!" And when I asked him how his day was it wasn't just a shrug - he uttered the word, "GREAT!"
Next week they are taking them to the library, a Dust Devils baseball game, the movie theater and to a gymnastics gym for play.
I am thinking maybe I should take him up on the offer to join him. First, before he gets the idea that he doesn't need me and second, because it sounds like a whole lot of fun!