Finally, Camp A is winding down for Mae. Last week was sooo much better than the first four weeks, and this week has been good overall it seems. The theme for last week and this is Science Wizards, and since she wants to become a chemist, this is right up her alley. She’s been enjoying making gooey, sticky stuff and learning about the periodic table. She comes home in a good mood and she has been more pleasant and energetic in the mornings. In addition to Mae having a strong interest in the subject matter, I think it has helped that the Science Wizards director is an experienced teacher. This has been a tremendous learning experience for me about camp selection and I’m already thinking about what we can do better for next summer.
This morning, though, Mae let me know that it hasn’t been all peaches and cream in Science Wizard land. I don’t know what brought it to her mind, but she said, “Another reason I don’t like [Camp A] is because the kids don’t show compassion.” She went on to explain that when she fell while playing sharks and minnows, nobody came to help her. And, she hit her hand yesterday and E saw it happen and didn’t show “compassion or empathy.” I told her that that’s too bad, and she can be a role model and set an example for the other kids because she knows how to show compassion and empathy. She responded, with what sounded like disappointment in her voice, that E is an older kid and should know better. Hubby told her that she should still do what she knows is right even if other kids don’t.
I was proud of Mae for recognizing situations that called for compassion and empathy. It’s not new; she’s been good at showing compassion and empathy for a big part of her seven years and four months. Sometimes, she forgets or lets her emotions get the best of her. Her and Jay’s school emphasizes kindness and even in preschool, the teachers teach and praise the kids for thinking of and promoting each other’s happiness. The conversation this morning was right out of her classroom and school playground experiences.
Even Jay recognized that Mae was saying something she’d learned at their school because it reminded him of a very important lesson that he’s picked up: “In Ms. [K]’s class, we don’t kiss.”
Thank goodness for that!