Today’s story really starts yesterday.
Yesterday, I had to work, so husband took son for day out of a-wandering, a-kite-flying, etc. There was a trail hike, slug discoveries, and the occasional trip-and-tumble, including a sidewalk scrape at day’s end.
When I got home, son was gleefully hopping around the house on one foot, and husband was mouthing — it’s not that bad — over son’s head, per alleged knee injury.
At bedtime, the complaining started. Mother applies “boo balm” to the scrape and ice pack for the bruising. Son falls asleep.
This morning, Jonah says: “What happens to the part of the skin that gets scraped off? You never see that on the sidewalk.”
He’s complaining more about the knee. Says he can’t unbend it.
This week is spring break. We only have one scheduled day of childcare, which is today. A single day of a spring break camp, at a new place we’ve never tried. The goal is of course for him to have fun, but also for him/us to see if he likes the camp, since he’s signed up for a week of it in June, and also for us to be able to work.
I examine the knee. It looks *maybe* a little swollen in relation to other knee. More boo balm, more ice pack.
I announce that we are going to pack the lunch, get dressed, etc., and at least go check out the camp, meet the people, see what’s up. He doesn’t have to go. We’re just going to look.
He’s not a fan of this idea, continues to argue for no camp.
By breakfast, he’s using an old umbrella as a cane to hobble around the house.
I notice that he is able to walk down the stairs to the car, one foot at a time, rather than two steps for each stair.
In the car, Jonah says: I think school gives us nine days off so that we can spend more time with our parents.
Open heart, insert dagger.
Yeah, I say.
We get to the camp drop-off location halfway through the hour. It’s a “wilderness” camp, so a bus will take them to parkland at 8:30 a.m.
He’s shy when we get there, of course. We don’t know anyone. I talk to various staff about his knee, we meet the EMT who will be onsite with the kids all day. We are the first to arrive so we get some undivided attention time with his counselor, who watches him walk/limp, and agrees that he’ll be fine. We learn that at least half of the activities involve moving slow “stealth practice” and sitting down while making (they will turn fibres into rope).
Other kids start showing up. I immediately bond with another mom who is also lingering, also a mother of a first-and-only. Turns out her son Miles is also in Kindergarten, 6 years old, and loves weapons, ninjas, Star Wars. The boys are already sitting next to each other so we introduce them and facilitate a conversation about swords, ask them to be buddies and sit together on the bus. When they all stand and line up, it’s clear Jonah and Miles are the same size and stature.
They barely look back at us as they file onto the giant yellow school bus. Jonah glances in my direction and gives a tiny wave. A wavelet.
Miles’ mom and I (the ONLY adults still there) stand on the sidewalk and wave at the bus as it pulls away.
* * *
Did I make the right choice?
Looking forward to pick-up at 3:30, when I will find out the answer.
* * *
Update: He LOVED it. Returned in one piece, albeit with end-of-day splinter removal.
Signed up for two more days this week. Fishing day, and Fire and Knives. (Yes, I’m letting him go to a camp that teaches kids how to whittle. With a knife.)
No further evidence of limp.
Photo of child in front of base-building, showing off his newly acquired, personalized knife. Face adorned with charcoal from fire — one of the stealth activities.