New Thing #200: Sending The Kids To Camp

Camp_ViewI'm working a lot this summer. This might not strike you as unusual, as perhaps you always work through the summer.

And I'm not seeking your sympathy.

I am simply stating fact: I'm working a lot this summer.

It's because of a project I took on at work, and the project is going well, thanks for asking.

But the reason I bring this up is it's a departure from my regular summer activities.

And I think that's been great for my kids.

See, in previous years I was home the entire summer with my daughters. It's one of the great benefits of my current career. Once or twice a week we'd put the girls in day care to give them some time with their friends (and to give Dad some time to get together with his friends...or enjoy some time by himself), but most of the week it was just me and my girls.

I remember my first summer with my oldest daughter - she probably wasn't quite 2. We'd be up early, then late in the morning we'd watch Sesame Street before settling into lunchtime, afternoon nap, and then playing a bit before my wife came home and it was time for dinner.

When a second daughter entered the picture, I structured things a little more so the centerpiece of our activities wasn't a television show. We'd do playgrounds or museums or something like that in the morning and take it easy in the afternoon. I'd invite friends with kids in the same age range to join us for particularly exciting morning activities. It was great. I called it 'Sucich Summer Camp.'

But this summer I just wouldn't have the time.

So my oldest two daughters are at real camp. And they love it.

They swim. They do all kinds of different activities from tennis to yoga to sports to arts and crafts. (Oh yeah, I forgot - I did arts and crafts too. Or at least pretended to. It's not my strong suit.)

And that's why this is a better situation for my daughters. They're learning to swim. They're learning tennis. They're making new friends. They're doing real arts and crafts.

I've learned a new joy of parenting this summer - picking up happy children at the end of a good day of camp.

It's almost as good as having happy children with me all day.