Today my son’s class went off to camp for a week. My son didn’t go. I am supportive of his decision. There was no second guessing involved. He didn’t want to go.
I talked to a few people who suggested that I make him go. I know they meant well. But they don’t know him like I do. He would not do well there.
He has come so far in the last year or so! His learning style is different. His social skills are different. I once best described him to someone like: his mind is a maze. You have to go in and find him, take his hand, and lead him out. The good part is that he can be led out. On the outside of his thought maze, he has been learning to understand more of the world. But he won’t understand anything if forced. He’ll just retreat back to the maze inside his head.
I had a difficult time articulating exactly why he clung to me so much – besides that I am mom. It is more than that. He knows that I understand him when no one else did. But a friend described it perfectly just a few months ago, I am his interpreter. He and the world don’t speak the same language. He knows that and it scares him at times. It makes him angry and scared. But he knows I can help him make it all make sense. And he is getting so much better and learning to make sense of the world himself! He has made leaps and bounds of advances in the last year!
He didn’t want to go to camp. It didn’t matter what they did at camp. He wouldn’t feel safe there. Because he didn’t trust anyone to understand him there. It is no one’s fault. There was really nothing anyone could have done to change his mind on this.
He’s had an amazing school year last year! He had a good start to the school year this year! He is doing so good!! He can be strong all day long, but he comes home to me to deflate from his day. At camp, he couldn’t come home to me. His safety net isn’t just “mom”. His safety net is “mom who understands him and can explain things to him”.
Tonight I am thankful that my son feels secure in his decision! I have been secure in his and my decision! I hoped that he wouldn’t second guess himself when he walked in to school today and his class was gone. And he didn’t! He is still secure in his decision!
And I write this tonight hoping someone else will be thankful for reading that there is no one “right” path to take your kid thru growing up. My other three kids went to camp. They had a blast! That was the right decision for them. But, it was not the right decision for him.