Proud Mama

The boys (we refer to Zach and Josh as “the boys” and Gabe, Zandra and Sam as “the kids”…although we think of them as all our children, it just makes it easier to distinguish the two when they need to be distinguished e.g. stuff going on in their “other lives”. We like it better than “your kids” or “my kids”)went to tennis camp this week.

The kids, were with their Mom on “her” camp week. Every year each side gets to pick 2 vacation weeks and one camp week and the remainder of the summer goes by the usual schedule. Gabe and Sam went to a half day tennis camp and Zandra went to a musical theatre camp.

Rob being a passionate tennis player back in the day (and still is at heart – just time has been limiting over the past years) wanted all the kids to learn tennis (and hopefully we would become this crazy tennis passionate family). He researched the camps and found an awesome tennis camp nearby. It was close to us in a beautiful location, had a great tennis program, served lunch (so I don’t have to make it:), has other activities including swimming, and the best part, according to the boys is that you get to “buy” snacks! I had given them some money up front to last them for the week. Then their Dad gave them a bit more. They had $13 to spend for the whole week. Josh spent 7.00 on day one. I stongly suggested how much he should spend daily – and he was able to stick to that for the remainder of the week. Zach asked what happened if he didn’t spend it all and when I told him it was his to keep, he started rationing what he spent every day to make sure he had some money leftover! Quite reflective of their personalities!

On Friday afternoon was Parent demo day; where we get to go and see how they are doing. Rob and I spent most of the afternoon watching and seeing how they had progressed. I had talked to the counsellors during the week who indicated the boys were doing well, helping out, behaving well, participating. No one mentioned the ball that Josh smashed over the fence, through the forest next to the courts, landing in the busy road, causing an accident….so we were all good.

A few action shots:

At the end of the parent demo, they (meaning the camp director) did a little speech about who they were, their philosphy, values, and other standard stuff. Then they presented two awards (actually 4 – 2 for the “younger kids” Josh’s group, and one for the “older kids” Zach’s group). These awards went to “Camper of the Week” – someone who had demonstrated a great attitude, been helpful, worked hard, and did an overall excellent job this week. They called out Zach’s name!

I wish I had the camera to capture the look on his face…but my heart took a picture. It was a mixture of shock, disbelief, then amazement, pride and happiness. He jumped up and proudly looked over at me (pretty much the only time he glanced my way all day since he is going through the stage of being too cool for acknowledging parents!). He got his gift of a bag filled with tennis camp stuff. He told me he was so surprised as he never has gotten anything like this! He was so happy – and I was so happy for him.

It took me back to years ago when I was about 10. I swam on swim team and had gone to the banquet at the end of the year. They started the award ceremony and awarded all the best swimmers. Then I heard my coach (Mark – I still remember his name) talking about a girl who had made the most progress in the summer. He said “This girl went to 1 week of camp at the beginning of the summer and I don’t know what happened, they must have taught her to swim or something”. Then they announced my name as the most improved swimmer and gave me an award. I was stunned. I had never received any award ever, and was shocked, amazed and thrilled. So thrilled, that I still remember that moment with such clarity to this very day!It really boosted my confidence in swimming, and just in general as well. I needed that and it was a top moment in my childhood.

Such a simple thing to be acknowledged every so often in a public way, but it can be life changing. Seeing the joy on Zach’s face reminded me how important it is to let our kids (or anyone who is important to us) know when they do a good job, to recognize accomplishments and effort, and to honour them in a public way. It can make all the differenc in someone’s world.

Way to go Zach!

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