Eric’s whole family comes to SUUSI now, but his first year he came alone with five-year-old twin boys.
Things that were easy: Meal-times, because I gave the kids the freedom to pick out their own food. Drop-off and pick-up at Youth Programming, because it is so well-run. Community Time in the late afternoons, because I would bring out a portable sport-chair and read/nap while the kids explored (but never went far). Late-night gatherings in the dorm hallway to talk & play games.
Things that were hard: Waking up with enough time to get myself & the kids to breakfast. Attending workshops, because I should have anticipated that I’d need more rest-time. Also when one kid got sick, I had to be with him to recuperate while allowing his twin to go forward with activities — but thankfully, some other parents helped me out that day.
Things that were exciting: Being in the Childcare Co-op dorm, and being able to check myself out for several hours to explore all the SUUSI offerings. It’s hilarious to be among the parents who are running back to the dorm just a few minutes before curfew.
The hardest thing: Driving home on Saturday, exhausted. Be sure to take a break at a rest area — don’t drive if you’re sleepy!
For NUUBI parents of young children: Don’t get too overloaded with activities, even though everything is so tempting. Expect your kids to get sick/tired at inopportune times. There will be many offers of support — but even all that compassion can be overwhelming. It’s okay if you lose your temper. We’ve all been there. Take it easy, make sure that you have fun this year — and then you can set loftier goals for next year.