Vegas Blog goes to Kidville Summer Camp!
I can’t say that when I started this blog, I ever envisioned Alina old enough to be going to summer camp. But here we are, in the throws of becoming a big kid, and thanks to my partnership with Kidville, Alina is experiencing her first summer as a camper.
Kidville in Vegas’s refined Tivoli Village has become a place of growth and stability for my family. Since her first dance class, where Alina experienced a positive closed door experience to Sebastian learning to walk, the instructors at Kidville have become people that my children love and respect. As a parent, it has been an interesting experience – watching your kid develop such a loving relationship with someone outside our family. Makes me realize the importance of good teachers to a child’s development. And even more, the negative impact bad ones can have.
We talked about going to summer camp quite often in the days leading up to the first day. As best as I could, I explained to Alina how I would drop her off and pick her up. I explained that, unlike her dance class, I would leave the building with baby brother, but that I would be back in three hours. She asked a million questions, of which I made sure to allot plenty of time to answer. And when I responded with a casual, “oh, you won’t even miss me”, she started to cry. Of course she would miss me. In her exclamations, I could see in my baby girl all the emotions that I was feeling for her – excitement, fear, nervousness and the desire to dig deep and find her inner strength. I wanted to cry myself, actually, but remained the picture of strength, because that’s what she needed me to be.
When the day came, I wanted her to feel secure and recognize all the cues that we had talked about. I woke up early, so as not to be rushed, and reminded her of what the next steps entailed. Before we left, I shot these pictures of my first born child on her first day of summer camp. When usually I would tell her to fix her smile, I left her alone – doesn’t she look so anxious? My sweet girl took on the day like a champ!
For as much as I wanted to fully document her first day at summer camp, I put the camera away so to be focused on her. We chatted on the drive there, with Alina’s barrage of questions never ending. Once there, the familiarity of the environment soothed her and the door was closed before I could even think twice. I definitely cried walking out of there.
I actually didn’t leave the premises that first day – I sat there for the whole three hours. Ha! We played in the gym and ate at a near by cafe, all within a 2 minute walk to her classroom. The teachers had my number and I asked them to call me if anything went amiss.
When it was time to pick her up, I got the most excited embrace from Alina in a long time. The teachers reported that she did great – and while the other children started to lose their cool at around hour two, Alina kept it together. I was so proud of my sweet girl.
Now, a month into our summer camp routine, Alina has definitely grown and matured. As reported by her teachers, she follows instructions and comforts her classmates when they get sad. And, she often needs redirection because she’s talking too much (wonder where she gets that from!).
We love Kidville. And not because I’m a Mom Ambassador; you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to leave either of my kids in a place that I didn’t have confidence in. I love Kidville because they allow my kids to grow at their own pace, and as an over protective mama, at my pace too. I’ve never once felt silly for lingering by the window too long. Everyone is there for the betterment of each child, individually. And I am honored that Alina is one of them.