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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Camp: I Don't Wanna

Buddy does best with structure. We have found that leaving him to his own devices often results in a bad day. So, over the winter break from school, we enrolled him in an outdoor adventure day camp.

We explained what the plan was to Buddy before we signed him up. He wasn't thrilled with the idea but agreed to go along. I should have known that meant there would be drama.

The night before his first day, Hubby went to a hockey game. Buddy and I had a laid-back evening at home. We ate left overs and watched Home Alone, one of his favorite movies. Everything was going fine until the time came to pack his bag for camp.

Then, all hell broke loose.

There was yelling and crying, throwing and slamming, hitting of inanimate and animate (i.e. me) objects, and finally a conversation. Buddy didn't want to go to a new place, he didn't want to meet new kids and he knew it would just be awful. Yes, he used the word "awful."

I am pretty comfortable dealing with a Buddy-meltdown at this point but it doesn't make them any more enjoyable. The one silver lining is that now I am able to keep myself regulated, which prevents the situation from escalating.

I told Buddy he didn't have to be friends with any kids if he didn't want to. He needed to be polite but that was it. And we made a deal that if he truly hated camp after giving it a try then he didn't have to go back.

It was a late night and morning came too quickly. Buddy and I were both tired and nervous as I drove him to the camp site. We got there early so he could scope it out and I agreed to stay with him until he was ready for me to go. When I left after 40 minutes to go to work he had my business card tucked into his backpack, just in case.

I knew he would have fun, outdoor adventures are totally in his wheelhouse. But I felt terrible and would until I got an update from Hubby, who was picking him up at the end of the day.

When I got the text message "2 thumbs up" from Hubby I felt relieved. And then a bit resentful. I KNEW he would love it, why couldn't he just have trusted me?

Buddy remembers being brought to his orphanage by someone he loved and trusted. He was told it was for his own good, and it was the best place for him to be. This was true, but impossible for a young child to really understand. He was left there for several years with a revolving door of friends and care-givers. He has met enough new people for a lifetime.

I understand why Buddy doesn't believe us when we tell him that something is "for the best." He's heard it before with not so great results. He has never gone into a new activity happily, every time it is a struggle, but I am confident that every time will continue to get easier.

Also, this was the first time he was able to explain to me what he was going through.


  1. I've done that, dropped my son at camp and felt sick until I've had a message to reassure me he's ok. He always wants to go but is quite obviously high anxious about it before he goes. So glad it all worked out. thanks for sharing on #WASO