Surviving Camp

shoes-walking-feet-grey-gravel--1000x666So I am left on my own for most of this week. My son is attending math camp at Radford University for the week and my daughter is attending medical camp at our local hospital. This leaves the age old question – what does a homeschool mom do when she has no children underfoot? Got me!

Dropping my son off at camp for a week is one of the hardest things I have ever done. He is further from me and away from me for longer than he has ever been before. When I first found the camp I almost didn’t apply for him simply because I knew that it would take him away from me. But then I realized that that was pretty selfish of me and he applied and was accepted. These are the moments when we are torn as parents between what is truly best for our child and what is best for us – for I have no doubt that this week is good for him. I am of course another story.

Or am I? By allowing my son to go out in the world and explore on his own, and discover in small ways who he is without his parents hovering, I am allowing him to be. Just be. Whoever he is going to be without us around. I have to be confident in the fact that I have raised a good kid who I can trust to stick true to who he is even though I am not watching. I release him to grow and change, for he will be different when he comes back. But this is all prep for when he leaves ¬†for college, something that this week has taught me as well. I say that this week is not good for me, but it really is. It allows me to see what life is like without my children here as well. It gives me a taste of life without them, and although I don’t like it, it tells me that it is also something I will survive – something I wasn’t sure I would to be perfectly honest.

My daughter at least is here in the evenings – she is gone during the day which of course makes getting my work done exponentially easier, but it also gives me something to look forward to – her coming home. Next year she has said that she might want to go away for a week as well, and so it begins.

We recently saw a new STEM high school that has a residential program – the school is about 4 hours from us, and not this year but next they are taking applicants for the school. I look at this as an incredible opportunity for my son to grow and be surrounded by those that are of similar thinking – that he will be challenged and pushed in a way that I can’t even imagine. But do I want to send my child away for his high school years? I know that there are plenty of people that do it, I am just not sure it is for us. But then I ask, is it that it is not right for “us” or not right for “me”? Can I get him the same education and opportunities here? And what will prepare him better for college and ultimately life? And where does the balance lie between the educational and the emotional needs of the child? Perhaps it is educationally better for him to go, but would it be best for his emotional well being?

Not sure to be honest, it may be one of those things that you apply for it and if he gets in then it is God’s will that he goes, and if he doesn’t then yay for me! All I know is that it has been a very long week already and it is only Tuesday.

Here’s to Saturday…

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