Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« Photo 232/365 | Main | Photo 230/365 »

Photo 231/365 (series: camp)

We picked Calvin up from camp today. He was gone for 11 days, away from his home, his routine, his people, trying his hand at managing himself for himself. For me, after the initial shock of having to leave him with eyes glistening from unshed tears, I thought I did pretty well. I was busy, first with our biggest library book sale of the year, then with a scramble to finish (actually even just start) school planning for the year, so I didn't have a lot of time to just think. Plus I was never really worried about him. I knew he was safe and would be fine no matter what. When we got the first (and only) letter from camp, though, and after reading the happiness in it I released a breath I had not realized I'd been holding. He was better than fine, he was having a blast.

But there's still something about 11 days with no real communication that leaves one a little on edge until reunited—a question mark, a worry line, a tension in the shoulders, I guess—and when we went to pick him up yesterday I was...what's the word? Apprehensive? Nervous? I can't even tell you what about—maybe that he hadn't actually had all that much fun after all? That he'd had so much fun he would actually be disappointed to see us? None of these were real thoughts, but may have been subconscious concerns that kept me from sleeping well the night before.

We arrived in plenty of time and parked outside his cabin alongside all the other eager parents who were hugging kids close and loading up cars. Calivn's group wasn't back from breakfast yet, so we lined up and waited. The kids wear a uniform, so spotting him in the throngs walking toward us wasn't easy, but then there he was, walking with friends. Let me tell you, he looked like an older, wiser, taller (and happier) kid than I remembered dropping off. And let me also tell you, the minute he spotted us he broke into a sprint that took him right into my arms. Happy as he was there, he was clearly also excited to come home. 

My favorite part of the whole experience, next to receiving the adorable letter, was how talkative Calvin was all the way home after we picked him up—how much he wanted to share the experience with us in the most minute detail. That afternoon will definitely rate as one of the most gentle, most precious in my experience as a mom.

I know Calvin learned a lot at camp, not just about music, although definitely that, too, but also about people, and life. And I also learned a lot from Calvin being at camp. I learned that it wasn't as hard as I thought to hand off the everyday worries to my child (brush your teeth, eat good food, mind your manners!), and that trusting him to be true to himself and all we taught him was also easier than I thought. Which is good, because college is only six years away, and these 11 days will be nothing compared to that letting go. What do they say? That our job as parents is to spend 18 or so years preparing our children to leave us? These were tiny little baby steps, but all in the right direction. 


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.