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Jul 11

Julianna and camp

Julie’s going to tennis camp this summer.  It’s free, and matches perfectly with the hours where I’m at work, and those two reasons alone are enough to make this awesome.  Add in the fact that she’ll get exercise, activity, socialization, and learning a new skill.

The only hitch is that she hated it.

We started her last week, and it was rained out the first day (downside to free camp is that when it rains, there’s no camp).  The following day was Sammy’s birthday, so I let her stay home.   Marc brought her the following day (it was a Thursday), and she was so miserable and so desperate for him to take her home, she actually ripped out his pants pocket by tugging on it.  Friday, I agreed to GO to camp with her, I’d sit in the bleachers, until her dad could come and we’d switch off (Sam had an appointment I had to bring him too).  She was better on Friday, still clingy, but not crying and even participated.  A little.  For ten minutes.  Out of two.

Once I left though, it got better.  Marc said that she played, had fun, and was actually excited about going to camp the next day – only it was Friday, and we didn’t have camp until Monday.

I hate making my kids do things they don’t want to do.  No surprise, nobody likes that.  But when it’s a no-brainer, like vaccinations, or bloodwork, or homework or going to bed… I do it anyway.  When it’s something like this – going to camp or school – it’s SO hard to make them do it.  Obviously, with a kid with an anxiety disorder, I’ve been doing this for years, and Julie is very different from Sam.  Sam never got better at it.  He wasn’t a little misty about going – he was full-blown kicking and screaming.  Jessie was more like Julie – reluctant, but not terrified.  But when Julie woke up this morning and the first thing she said to me was “please don’t make me go, Mommy, please, I don’t like camp…” God – I wanted to let her stay home.

I didn’t.  It wasn’t an easy morning, she fought it hard, but got her little self dressed, and walked into camp.  She asked, very quietly, if I could please take her home, once we got there, but I kissed her, and told her that I’d be back  before she knew it – and she nodded and went to go sit down.

I think we turned a corner today, I picked her up and she was bubbling over with enthusiasm.  She LOVED camp, was happy about learning tennis, loved reading, had fun.

Julie isn’t Sam.  And it’s hard, when you’ve got one kid who totally has special needs in one area, to not compare them – to wonder if I had just been more firm with Sam, if I had powered thru his screaming and crying, would he have been better off?  But then I remind myself that I DID.  He didn’t calm down, he didn’t adjust – because his issues aren’t Julie’s.  And even if he had magically separated, and had no anxiety issues – he’d still be dealing with the vision issues, the PTSD.

In other wonderful news – Miss Jessica is off at Harvard Business School this week, attending the Model UN Global Initiatives Conference.

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