So when I saw the listing for this year's summer camp, saw that it was happening during one of the four weeks that his preschool was closed this summer, and asked him if he was interested, he was SO excited. He looked forward to it the whole rest of the school year. It was definitely more expensive than the community center summer classes I had been planning to fill his weeks off with, but in this case it was totally worth it.
|The Boy's big entrance|
|"I'm Terry Turtle, the taxi cab driver!"|
|Breaking the fourth wall|
|The Busytown Song--big finale.|
|It's kind of great having a fan club.|
There is another round of Busytown camp at NWCT in August that coincides with The Boy's other weeks off of school. And it's a different theme and script, so it would be a different experience. They told them about it when The Boy went to camp, and he's been asking to go. I love, love, love that he's so excited about theater and being in plays.
I was a theater major in college, and then a drama teacher. So naturally, I am passionate about performing and am so excited that it is something The Boy is loving to do too. I loved seeing him on stage at camp, and would be thrilled if he became a "drama kid" in school.
I have to keep reminding myself:
He is four years old.
He would most likely be equally excited about any kind of camp that I sent him to. Just because he had fun at drama camp does not mean that he is destined for a life in the theater. I wouldn't even necessarily WANT him to be destined for a life in the theater! And he is four years old, why am I even thinking about him being destined for a life in anything specific?
So. I have told him that if he really wants to do another camp instead of having a week of break at the end of the summer, we will look at a variety of kinds of camps and see what else he might think was fun. There are t-ball classes, space-theme camp, art camp, nature camp, zoo camp, science camp, pirate camp, elf and fairy camp...so many things. As I have been reading him the descriptions of the different camps, the ones that get him excited are the ones that mention plays and performance. Which I KNOW is a result of just finishing a performance camp that was very very fun for him. I still have to remind myself that he needs exposure to lots of kinds of activities at this point.
It's so hard, though, because obviously it's easier for me to work up excitement about something that I am truly passionate about. As he gets older and is making choices for what he is interested in, I will be supportive no matter what it is. So I feel like my job for now is to do my best not to influence that decision. Sure, expose him to drama, but try not to seem any more excited about that than about anything else. But is it wrong that I want to just let him keep on rolling on the drama train, because he loves it and I love it so why not just encourage it? Not to mention that I think that drama is chock full of valuable skills for kids, transferrable to lots of different areas. I mean, how much more fun would I have as a parent volunteer someday if he ends up involved in things that I know something about, enjoy, and could be very helpful with? How much more patient would I be with endless practices and driving around if the end result was something I truly enjoyed and believed in, rather than got through? I'm sure that I will enjoy seeing The Boy participate in whatever it is that excites him someday, but it's SO HARD not to be selfish right now and point him in the direction of the things that excite ME. What if I let him choose for himself and he ends up wanting to play FOOTBALL?!? At least traumatic brain injuries are rare for drama kids!
When we chose to send The Boy to drama camp this summer, I totally found myself explaining every time, "The theme is Busytown, and The Boy loves Busytown and loved that play so much that this seeemed right up his alley..." which is absolutely true, but what I was really saying is, "I'm not a stage mom, I'm not pushing The Boy to do theater because I love theater, this camp is about more than just theater..." just in case anyone was judging me as such. Because I know there is a grain of truth there.
Maybe I have nothing to worry about--as The Boy gets older, he will continue to form opinions about what he enjoys and what he doesn't, and I can sit back and just appreciate what he comes up with. At four years old, I am constantly impressed and surprised by the strengths he has in different areas, and I want him to continue building as many of them as he can. And maybe if I back off, he'll end up choosing things I'm interested in all by himself, which would be much more satisfying than if I feel like I pushed him into it in any way.
So help me out here--how do you decide what activities to expose your kids to, especially when they are too young to have a clear opinion? A little bit of everything? The things you personally enjoy? Things that aren't your own strong suit so they won't be getting them at home?