Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

The Mother Who Sent her Kid to Camp

on July 3, 2014

This week my oldest child went to camp for the very first time. She is at a perfect age for camp, and I finally decided that I am ready for her to go. She probably was ready long before this, but I was not. Hence, this is her first experience with overnight camp.

Her father and I both had very positive experiences at camp as children. We felt it was essential at some point that both of our children should go and be given these same opportunities.

This week has been an experiment of sorts. How would I handle not having one of my children around for an entire five days, not in the care of family members? I knew I would miss her dreadfully, and it has been a learning experience for us all.

Here on the home front, I have determined that not one of my children is necessarily messier than the other. It is a wonderful and perfect storm of individuals that make this house the disaster that it is at times. I thought perhaps I might be able to figure out which child is more likely to need Molly Maid gift certificates for Christmas when one child is factored out of the equation.

With that in mind, I have observed that the child who has stayed home with me all week is the one who has issues keeping the toothpaste where it belongs (in the tube). While I have also discovered that the one who went to camp is the one who spits all over the sink with her toothpaste. I have not missed that part at all, by the way.

But the pinnacle part of Hurricane Hoyt is me. I cannot keep up with the two of them, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I can keep up with myself. I am my own worse enemy when it comes to cleaning and de-cluttering. The younger of the two children, the attention diverter, and the older one, the near hoarder, can overcome me any day.

But while I struggle to catch up on all of the household chores of the week, my mind wanders to my daughter who is hopefully enjoying the time of her life at camp (or her electronic detox, as I like to refer to it). I ponder the more important aspects of her week, not my week. A life experience for her that continues outside of our home, our safe haven, the invisible bubble that we have created for our children.

Will she fall in love with camp? Will she enjoy every last minute of it? Or will she simply tolerate it?

What if she gets hurt? Will someone come along and be a friend to her? Will she make new friends? Will she become better friends with the children there that she already knows?

Will the others appreciate her awesome sense of humour that I see developing day by day? Will they laugh with her? Or giggle behind her back?

Will they see how much she loves Jesus? Will she grow spiritually throughout the week? Will she learn new and important truths about her God?

Will someone notice if she is too quiet and withdrawn, keeping to herself? Will someone detect and intervene if she isn’t fitting in? Will she care?

Will someone acknowledge and hand her a tissue if a single tear falls down her cheek because all of these new experiences are just too overwhelming?

I cannot dwell on these things too long. Her younger sister has continued to pray for her safety all week. And I will follow her lead, taking time to quiet my distracting thoughts, and know that God is taking her on a great new adventure and in one more sleep, I will hear all about it.

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