That time I sent my 6-year-old to camp

camp1-2xMy little girl is spending her second of three days (and two nights!) at Outdoor Science School today, learning about ecology and geography with her elementary class and the elementary class from another local Montessori school. She’s been super-excited for months about this, and in true Montessori style has had an active role planning the school fundraiser and in preparing herself for camp. I’ve seen a huge leap ahead in her independence and sense of responsibility. Also, she loves geography (well ok, pretty rocks), ecology (cats, slugs, worms, and flowers), and the outdoors. So I’m sure she’s having a fantastic time right now, and I’m so excited that her school offers such rich opportunities for learning.

Amelia, ready for camp
Independent but still feeling a little vulnerable. Or sick of me taking pictures; one of those.

That said, the child is SIX. And she’s my baby. And she’s the youngest kid of all the kids who are on this trip together. And the morning we dropped her off for camp, she woke up scared, and curled in my lap and cried. I’ve never been much of a “these are the wonder years” parent — I don’t prioritize my own needs well, so I’ve been enjoying the process of the kids getting older and thus needing less All-Mommy-All-The-Time — but right now, I get it.

She’s just going to get bigger and bigger, and she’s going to do amazing things in this world… farther and farther away from me. And I’m going to miss her. I miss her now (so does her little brother; ZOMG that’s a whole different blog post, let me tell you), and I can’t wait until she gets home and can tell me all her stories.

In a way, it’s kind of cool that she’s had this opportunity to range so far away from us this young, while she’s still small enough that I can mush her into a tiny little ball of love when she comes back. And so I can follow through on some of the promises I’ve made to myself in the last 24 hours to enjoy every moment I get to spend with my fantastic kids. Every moment they’re not whining, begging, complaining, or otherwise annoying me, that is. 😉

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