Monday, July 21, 2008

A Mother's Guilt


I was supposed to sign Jack up for a Harry Potter camp this summer. They're having one at his school. It's a morning camp, runs for a week, and costs--yikes!--$190. This spring I told him I would sign him up, but I kept putting it off, putting it off. It's like I just couldn't remember to do it.

About a month ago, I finally e-mailed the camp director. Was there still space in the camp? Yes, there was. All I had to do was go to the school Web site and sign up. I went to the school Web site, but the link to the summer programs was broken. I'll deal with it tomorrow, I told myself. But tomorrow never came.

I think the problem was I didn't want to spend that kind of money on a camp. If it were a full-day camp, sure. But that's a lot of money for a half-day camp. And even though Jack is a huge Harry Potter fan, and I know he'd have a great time, it's hard to justify the price tag. So my mouth said yes, but my heart said no.

Then we made some plans to have my niece come for a visit this week and then take her home, pick up my mother-in-law, and head up to the mountains for a few days (my mother-in-law has a house up there, and she's been wanting us to come up and help her with a few things).

I was sure the camp was next week, which meant that if I signed Jack up, he and I would have to skip the trip to the mountains. Jack loves the mountains, loves his grandmother. That was a tough call. But Jack remained hopeful; maybe the camp was the week after next week and he could do both.

Well, it turns out that the camp is, in fact, this week. It's going on right now as I write (10:27 a.m. Monday morning). And Jack still wants to go, even though he will have missed a day, even though his cousin, whom he adores, is coming on Wednesday.

Of course we told him no. Maybe next year. Couldn't he see it would be rude to his cousin to sign up for a camp the week of her visit?

No, he couldn't see that. All he could see is that we promised him he could go to this camp and now he can't. When I told him he couldn't go, his face sort of crumpled up and he turned away.

So now I feel terrible. I knew I was procrastinating about that camp for a reason, and I should have faced it head on and told Jack it was really too expensive. But instead I was passive about it, hoping the problem would somehow go away.

I told Jack I was sorry. Maybe I'll tell him the truth about not wanting to spend all that money on camp. Maybe we'll work out something for next year, where he can save up if he wants to go.

Oh, but I hate to see my boy cry.



Tracy said...

Oh dear. Sigh.

You know what? We all make Mummy-sized mistakes. Perhaps you could make up for it just a little by doing something special with him one day?

I've now made it a policy on my part ~ I never promise anything that I'm not gung-ho in favour of. That way I leave myself room for stuff to not happen.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

The funny thing was, I didn't realize I had a problem with it until after I'd said okay. And I tried to ignore that itchy little voice that kept asking, Why aren't you getting him signed up? I should have known when I was being so extremely passive (I'm unorganized, but not that unorganized) that I wasn't entirely comfortable with the idea.