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if you must degrade, do it quiet

maura @ 10:07 pm

Today was Gus’s last day of camp and my first day of the new semester, so it feels like summer is officially over.* I have to admit that we were a little worried at the outset. He’d rejected his camp of the past two years which left us scrambling around way back in February to find suitable alternatives (it’s insane how fast camps fill up). We finally decided on three different camps for a total of 6 weeks of camp, interspersed with (and determining) our 3 separate weeks of family visiting + vacationing. Three camps sounded like a lot to us grown-ups, but since he’d rejected the one camp with the flexible schedule that goes for the entire summer we didn’t really have much choice.

I was painfully shy for much of my childhood. We moved houses and I changed schools a bunch, and I remember feeling like it was so hard to make new friends time + time again. Jonathan moved a lot, too. Gus was pretty shy as a toddler + preschooler, so we naturally assumed that he’d continue to be shy as a kid. Transitions to his new classes have been easy the past few years, but then again he’s been in the same school since kindergarten so he’s super familiar with it by now.

One of the things that continues to shock me about being a parent is the extent to which our kid is, in certain ways, actually not like us at all. I probably spend too much time gnashing my teeth about the bad traits Gus has inherited from me: stubbornness, temper, lack of physical grace (yes, we are both clumsy), small feet (hmm, is there a connection?). But I rarely think about the good stuff he’s got that I don’t have.

And it turns out that Gus had a great summer. He loved all three camps, even though they were very different and he only had one prior friend at one camp. He came home with contact info for a friend from each camp, too. This year he seems to have been especially popular with the ladies. At his first camp he showed me how to stand on the edge of his locker to open the locker on top of his for S., a little girl in his group. At his second camp he told us of his friend C.: “she’s a talker.” On the last day the kids + counselors signed each others shirts and C. wrote her phone number on the back of Gus’s shirt. And at this last camp he discovered that S. also plays the online Harry Potter-esque video game that Gus is totally into. They’ve friended each other and he’s helping her level up (what a gentleman!).

* Except that it’s not! That moaning sound you’ll hear emanating from the NYC metro area sometime in the middle of next week will be directly attributable to the public schools not starting until September NINTH. Yes, that’s right, this year Labor Day is as late as it can possibly be, w00t! Tune in next week for tales from the trenches, Camp Mommy + Daddy style.

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3 comments on “if you must degrade, do it quiet”

Anne (29 August 2009 at 10:13 am)

Max’s 1st day of pre*K, he walked up to the (much larger) assistant principal to introduce himself. Then he added, “I’m shy.”

It is amazing how well they adjust and make friends! Max made a ton of friends in his daycamps. I think people threatened to beat me up in mine. (I might have deserved it.)

He made the switch from 6-9 to 9-12 w/o any hassle (tho it’s only been 3 days). That was a huge leap for me — but then I had a new baby brother and my best friend moved away. (My brother turned out to be OK, and 30 years later my friend found me on Facebook, so it ended happily.)

Max thinks girls are sick Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers-lovin’ fiends. Gus is LL Cool Gus!

maura (29 August 2009 at 7:57 pm)

I know, we have been so surprised by the adjustment! Also I think Max was a good influence b/c since your visit Gus has occasionally played with kids he doesn’t know at the playground + park, which he’d never really done before.

Wow, 9-12, that’s exciting! I think all of Gus’s girls like Hannah Montana too, but as long as he doesn’t have to hear about it that’s okay with him.

Anne (31 August 2009 at 12:22 am)

Max said the park mob was Gus’s idea!

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