Baking Cookies..... and other moments of childhood

Today I had an interesting conversation with one of the international students. He comes from a powerful, high-society family, where money is no object. The kid flew to summer camp in FIRST CLASS, and was disappointed that a limo did not transport him to the university, for pete's sake!!! :) To strike up a conversation during breakfast, I asked him, "So who is the better cook in your house? Mom or Dad?". He told me that neither of them cook, and that his housekeeper cooks every night, even for holidays and special celebrations such as birthdays and Christmas. He spends most holidays with his nanny (in addition to the other staff of the mansion). I asked him if he ever had the opportunity to bake Christmas cookies with his mother (VP of an international bank), to which he replied, "she's too busy to bake and cook".

My heart broke when he told me that. This boy is one of three sons, all under the age of twelve. I suppose everyone has their own priorities and lifestyles, but I found it very sad that something as simple and wholesome as baking cookies has never been a shared family activity in his home.

We may not have access to a stove or oven here at camp to bake cookies, but I am glad that I can help these students live a more down to earth life, and enjoy simple things like walking in a nice park or playing cards in the recreation room. I am even glad I have the opportunity to teach them other [mundane] activities like making their beds and doing their laundry!

Kids can easily accumulate mountains of toys, clothes, iPods and other material things, but they will never forget how much (or little) TIME was spent on them. Here at camp, I hope they know how special they all are to me, and I hope spending my time on them will help them grow as young adults. I know my days here help me grow everyday as an educator and also as a human being.

In closing, How do you spend quality time with your children? Do you enjoying repeating traditions from your childhood with your own children? How do you see parenting in 2011? Easier or more difficult with the influence of technology?

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