Walker doesn’t want to go to camp this year. This had come up for discussion in years past, but had never gotten to the point where I really gave him much choice. Camp was as much for me as it was for him. It was a time to escape even the minor duties involved with caring for my man-child. But this year he was mildly adamant. He really doesn’t want to go.
I don’t think anything has happened to make him feel this way, he loves the leaders and always seems to come home happy, but somehow he knows he has outgrown the little crafts and dress-up nights, and the heat and mosquitoes, and most of all, the long week without his cell phone or his diet cokes. At least that’s the litany of reasons he gave me, which was pretty logical.
I struggled a bit with whether it was okay to allow him to choose not to go, because camp does provide at least some peer interaction. Walker has tended to want to hang with the counselors more than his cabin mates, though, so not sure that's a good reason. I finally decided to just let him choose to do as he pleases with his vacation this year. He's making some progress with making friends with his co-workers, has a couple of social outings a month, and goes out with his attendant, Theresa every week. If staying home sorting his polaroids is how he wants to spend his vacation, I can live with that.
He asked me a couple of days ago whether Nikki, the camp director, had called and had I told her he wasn’t coming. I explained that she wouldn’t be expecting him since I hadn’t sent in his application. “Well, if she calls, tell her I’m very sorry. Maybe next year.” Somehow, I don’t think so.
Giving Walker the right to make this decision comes after over forty years of mothering in which I have mostly gone along with my kids choices, unless there was really good reason not to. In this case, diet cokes and cell phones trumped everything else, so why not let him choose. I know I would want to if I were in his shoes.