Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Camp

I only have three kids this week.

Jake is at his first sleep-away camp.

I never thought I would be a summer-camp mom. But this is a special camp for kids like Jake, who lie at the "high-functioning" end of the autistic spectrum. Jake's first grade teacher and former speech-therapist are running things and many of his school friends are there, too.

It's a Christian farm camp...with goats, chickens, rabbits, a swimming pool, nightly campfire, and daily Bible study. I'm sure he's having a great time.

Being a special-needs mom is not something I would have ever chosen for myself. But it has taught me to judge less and appreciate more. It has taught me patience and practicality. It has introduced me to a whole world of remarkable people.

And, although dealing with this guy is often challenging and exhausting...I am really missing him and can't wait until Friday pick-up.


In the meantime, I still have this one...


and this one...

and this one to keep me company!

And, somehow, their personalities have magically expanded to fill the space vacated by their big brother.

(Funny how that happens!)

I guess all my kids have special needs.

12 comments:

Annemarie said...

It's like they had a little pow wow before big brother left. Discussing ways to make up for his absence!!
Funny, I always miss my hardest the most, too!

Laurie said...

True, true...all kids have special needs. What a great experience for your son (and you).

Bridget said...

That's so great he has that camp to go to. I'm sure he's having a great time. Nathan and I always say that kids are like a gas in a closed container- they will expand to fill the space they're given.

Ilene said...

Isn't it fun and reassuring to actually have a chance to MISS a child?

Fun, because most of the time you are always with the child(ren)so a break is nice and it is reassuring because that means you REALLY do prefer having the kid around than not.

Lindsey said...

It is funny.. I forget that you HAVE a special needs child. Life just goes on, and you adjust. I wonder if people forget that I do, or if it is because I know how it goes for you that I just understand.. .:)

Lauren said...

That is really great that he has a camp :)My older sister, Lisa, has mental retardation...summer was hard for her growing up because she craved the structure that school offered her.

I love your open and honest writing. :)

andrea said...

girl, we all have special needs. some are just better at managing them than others.
can't wait for the follow-up post on how it was.

Jenibelle said...

SO COOL!!! Good for him and wonderful for you! You are brave and smart to have let him go. Isn't it amazing how kids fill a space that you didn't even know was missing in your heart?

Tell us how it went, I never did this, I was too afraid. I am in awe and proud as can be of you. Typing through tears.

TravelinOma said...

I had a friend tell me that it didn't matter how many kids you had. They take all your time.

TravelinOma said...

I clicked before I finished! It's so awesome there are special activities for special kids. I'm sure he's having a fabulous time!

Marci said...

How fun for Jake - I'm sure he is loving it, and missing you all at the same time. Kade is away at Scout Camp right now - and I find myself missing him too! But I'll admit, there is much less fighting going on. It is amazing how having one less around to start fights can make a difference! But I definitely want him back anyway!!

Rochelleht said...

Yesterday in the airport, we saw all sorts of cute kiddos flying into Maine for summer camp.

I got to see mine this morning for the first time in a week and it sure was sweet! Hope your reunion's as nice.

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