Friday, July 20, 2012

Hot all day sports camp, and how parents leave

In the long continuing saga of How Am I Supposed to Trust my Child with Strangers?, I had my first experience with leaving my child at an all day sports camp.  With people I had never met before.  During a heatwave.  With public restrooms.  Next to a busy street.

"Oh, Liz, you silly nilly, there is nothing to be afraid of, he will be fine." is what I'm imagining some parents are thinking upon reading this.

But, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for them/all of us, I discovered I was not the only parent who was trepidatious at this first experience.  I had mini-therapy sessions with other moms and dads as we dropped our sons off.  The extreme heat.  The need for hydration.  One dad unapologetically admitted he had told his son "You will die if you don't drink enough.  Do you understand this?"  The question of will they use the public restrooms alone.  The graphic terrifying subject that parents who did not know each other moments before will discuss with each other.  And then seconds later we share sunscreen with those who forgot, trust coaches we have never met before, and drive away.  Somehow we do that.

In the end, yes, all was well.  It is always a learning experience.  I tend to hold my breath.  Well, hold my breath, and also drive by the field one hour later, just to assure myself things are going okay.  And upon seeing my son at pickup, ask him how much of his beverages he drank during the 5 scorching hours since I dropped him off.  And be glad I gave him extra bottles when he generously gave a bottle to his friend.

Sigh.  I just sighed.  I do alot of sighing.

Oh, did the child learn anything at the all day baseball camp for 4 days?  I'm sure he did.  But I also learned my own stuff too.

Sometimes he seems so tall and mature.
Here he seems so small and young.
Probably me reading into it. And that cooler full of hydration.

Someday perhaps words will be invented
to describe how mothers feel about their children.

I'm pretty sure it ain't a childhood summer
unless you go somewhere still in your pajamas.

It all looks fine, the field, the exercises, the capable adults in charge.
And then I had to walk away.

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