To get some backgound on how I feel about this issue, you have to read here & here, and know that I have spent LOTS of time researching camps, etc. and Mr.Cotta has responded by completely forgetting our compromise and everything that went with it.
I am so annoyed with him right now, I am spitting nails.
It turns out that to him, there is only one possible camp, one acceptable choice, one camp on earth that is appropriate to send his children too. To him, there are no alternatives.
It's his way, or no way.
Which is unnecessarily rigid, IMO.
I have called ten or twelve different camps, spoken to directors, checked out prices, references, facilities, programs, food, access to emergency medical facilities, distance from us and our city, whether or not kids can call home, bullying & discipline policies, basic due diligence in my opinion. I have drilled it down to 2 or 3 I kind of like, and am willing to send my kids.
The ONLY camp he likes is one that is up north, far away, incredibly expensive and WASP central, both the insect kind and the snobby kind. Roughing it doesn't even begin to describe the conditions. Stiff upper lips & lukewarm showers are handed out at the door, and pedigrees are checked & approved. It's boys only, and every one of the campers & counsellors looks like something out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad, except for the children of Asian billionaires who attend. They have very rustic cabins, certainly not bug-proof, and I'm going to have to send him with a full set of bug netting so he can get a decent night sleep, and trust him to take care of himself, cause no-one else will.
In blackfly season, in the bush, in Northern Ontario.
To people who've never seen a cloud of blackflies, you simply can't comprehend it, but animals who have been attacked by them have gone mad, and humans? Well, there is a reason that no other country will ever be able to successfully invade Canada, and blackfly season and winter cold are pretty much it.
Never mind the whole, "we have no money for this" problem.
Worse than all that, is the problem of us communicating about how to raise our kids. We love each other, we love the boys, that issue isn't even relevant to the discussion. We both want the best for our kids.
The problem happens when we each try to define what the "Best" means. Mr.Cotta comes at it from the point of view that raising a kid well means that we should replicate everything he had as a child. That there is only one "best" way to do things. Mostly it works well, since he was given many wonderful things as a kid, many great opportunities. But lots of things he didn't get to have or do. There were many things good and bad about his family life. And the rose-colored glasses he dons when he looks back at that childhood betray his bias, I think.
It is at the heart of the conflict we have. And the heart of many of the conflicts parents have about the right way to raise kids.
I think that many of the things I was raised with were inappropriate. But some of it was okay. The average normalcy of my experiences, living in a middle class small town , even if we didn't personally have money, means that I am not so enamoured of money and class climbing. I never had much, so I feel like right now we're doing really well. Mortgaged but not overly debt-ridden anymore, living on a budget, being able to buy some things we like, but not being able to buy anything we like; I'm fine with that. Content, even. I like the neighbourhood we are in. I want to renovate, but I have zero desire to move to the Mansionville neighbourhood in my city.
I don't have affluenza, and I don't want my kids to get it. There is a middle ground and it is vast and has lots of options for us to pick from.
Mr.Cotta disagrees. He thinks that there is only one school/high school/university, one career for the boys, one camp, one neighbourhood, one kind of vacation, one type of life to lead. Achieving those things are his only goal, his only dream, everything else, not good enough, not acceptable. He is wants these things, and cannot understand any other point of view.
And what happens when it doesn't work out? When the "perfect" camp fails to meet his expectations, (Considering the build up he's given it, it can only fail, let's be honest. Heaven isn't this perfect. *eyeroll*) I worry that when life comes along and holy mackeral, his children might have opinions & preferences of their own and don't like it, or the camp does something stupid, or makes a mistake, he will be crushed.
I will be sad for him, I will not tell him "I told you so." But I will wonder how the hell we are going to make it through the rest of our lives without killing each other, if he can't open his mind to the possibility that other choices are good as well.
I feel like the Kate Middleton to his House of Windsor in this whole thing, and I don't know what to do.