June 22, 2006
Her summer camp is going to an amusement park today, a big one, and none of the kids are bringing backpacks. We thought hard about what to do. We could have insisted that she be allowed to take it anyway, and I'm sure they would have gone for that. But with the counselors occupied with kid wrangling, she would have been responsible for keeping up with it and would have been excluded from a lot of the activities that the other kids would be experiencing. We could have kept her home rather than run the risk of her getting into a situation where she needed it and didn't have it, and believe me, we considered it.
After I talked to the counselors and determined that at least one of them knows sign language, I decided to stop being such a worrying freak and just Let. Her. Go. The park is in the same city where I'm working, so I made sure they had my business card and could call if there was a problem or if she needed her device. I'm like five minutes away.
And so I sit here, trying not to be anxious and trying not to second-guess the decision to send her off to have a day of wordless summer fun. In theory, we've always said that her device is her voice and it should be with her at all times. In practice, that's not always feasible. When she's on the playground, for example, she doesn't take it since it could be damaged and she can't see the screen in direct sunlight anyway. Obviously, when she goes swimming, same thing. When she's older and can take more responsibility, that will change, I'm sure.
The difference this time is that she's going a whole day without it. I wish I knew that we'd made the right decision.
I spent the evening with a good friend of mine who works as a nanny, and there's a small chance that she may be able to watch Schuyler next summer. Here's hoping. She's Schuyler's favorite grown-up, and one of mine, too, come to think of it.