You know, when I registered Ricki for camp, I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. I understand that I would have to go to city hall to get them to pay for the camp (as “respite” care). I understood that I would need to label and pack her things. My only qualms were:
1. She would miss 10 days wherein we could work on life skills.
2. I was (and am) afraid that she might be treated in a babyish, condescending way by the volunteers, or that they would condone behavior that I don’t.
As it happens, getting ready for camp involved a lot more work than I had imagined. She really didn’t have enough clothing for 10 days, so we bought more. Then those clothes had to be altered to fit, and labeled. So in all, we have lost much more than 10 days of working on life skills. It was a lot of work. And when she returns I dread the amount of laundry I will have to do. (Right now, I’m puzzled every time that I venture out to the laundry room and see that there is not enough laundry to make a machine-load. Ricki generates a LOT of laundry, especially as she is careful to change clothing –usually- when they get smudged up.)
So was it worth it? I think so. Ricki is apparently having a BLAST. She is not calling home in homesickness, either. Friday afternoon when I called, I asked what she was doing. She answered, after a giggle, “Getting a fancy hairdo….” She’s gaining independence, and at the same time getting a real vacation before the tough new school year starts in two weeks. And I suspect she just might get a lot of REAL life skills right there in camp!