Isaac and Zachary attended a summer camp for the first time this year. The program selected held many fun-filled days of fun jumps, water park visits, field trips to the zoo and a movie theater in Broussard and various creative activities.
Much like during the previous year of Pre-K, our Little Men came home on a regular basis with creations from the day – arts and crafts treasures that earned a place of honor on the refrigerator door or in another place of prominence in the home.
One day, I enjoyed a rare day off from work. I’m my father’s son, and, like him, I rarely take a day off from work. So, this was a special occasion for the Men. I dropped them off at camp in the morning and headed home to work on projects until they were done.
That afternoon I went to pick them up. As I walked in the building, Isaac saw me and ran up to me exuberant about winning a medal for being “Camper of the Week.” Isaac stumbled over his words — which could not escape his mouth fast enough — while telling me about how awesome it was to earn the prize.
Zachary turned to me with tears in his eyes and said, “Isaac won a medal, and I didn’t.” As I held him, one of the ladies from camp handed me a certificate Zachary earned — “Master Scientist.” Zakk won the award for coloring a rainbow correctly and positively identifying the colors.
OK, fellow parents, here’s the dilemma: How do you show excitement and praise for one twin who won a medal without hurting the feelings of the other? Yeah, I didn’t have the best answer on the spot, either, though I’m sure there’s a creative mom out there who had the right answer on the tip of her tongue.
Here’s what I did: I made a big deal out of both. I explained to Zakk that it was uber-cool for him to be named “Master Scientist” and that I was extremely proud of both. Then, as I buckled each into their seats in the truck, I asked them where they wanted to go to celebrate. Both thought about it for a few moments before both, at the same time, blurted out Mojo’s.
Zakk’s eyes no longer leaked tears of disappointment. Instead, his little face lit up as we began the short drive.
Moments later, they sat savoring the frozen yogurt treat to celebrate their individual accomplishments. Zakk explained more about how his rainbow knowledge earned him a special certificate and Isaac filled me in on the details of how his good behavior that week led to a medal.
In the end, it was a special afternoon for all three. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Zakk received a “Camper of the Week” medal of his own a few weeks later.