Friday, July 4, 2014

Missing Them

It’s good to miss your kids.  As a stay at home Mom all these years and a home schooler, I haven’t had many opportunities to miss my kids.  Oh, sure, they’ve been with our families without us and even friends for a couple of nights but this camp thing— it’s different.

We dropped them off last Sunday in New Braunsfels at T- Bar M for a whole week— just the two of them.  No friends in tow.  Just Julia and Brighton with a slew of kids they did not know.  They weren’t exactly excited.  And maybe I wasn’t either, but Jeff and I knew it would be a great experience for them— at least that’s the plan.  We pick them up tomorrow— haven’t heard hide nor hair from them.  That’s camp culture, so they tell me.  I told my nephew this morning I hope we haven’t scarred them for life.

“Get kids ready for camp” on my list last week was more daunting than I thought.  It was a line item among other things.  “Other things” are still on that list.  Then, while sipping coffee with a friend on my porch, she spoke of daily care packages.  Daily.  “Get kids ready for camp” began to look like a research paper outline.  I gave myself to it and bought some of their favorite things, some things I thought they might need, some things I was going to buy anyway and packed them all in ~ daily~ envelopes, along with notes from Jeff and me.  I combed the “Things You Need” list we got in the mail and counted and labeled and folded.  Trunks ready, care packages sealed.  Not pretty but fun, right?  {Some in their trunks, some to deliver as surprises}

Once the car was loaded, I was walking out turning off lights and such, I grabbed the almighty list T-Bar M had sent for some reason— to torture myself on the way in case I had forgotten something and realized I hadn’t spent much time on the “Things That May Not Come to Camp”.  I saw “Candy, gum etc.”  Oh.  It makes complete sense to me now but right then, I realized my care packages weren’t going to be nearly as fun—- nor nearly as cute after I had to rip them all open to rid them of contraband.  How sad.  But how smart of Tar- B M.

The kids were given a grand welcome to the camp as first timers.  We got a quick tour by Johnny Polk, camp director and met a thousand smiling folks along the way.  Goodbyes were quick— and possibly awkward as the kids were being brave and we were trying to be considerate of the kids with all these peers around them— and brave too.  No time for emotions.  Johnny was ready to show us something else!

He was literally waiting on us at the entrance and rode our side rails in.
When I saw this picture after we had dropped them off, Julia’s body language concerned me!!  And B’s smile is not his normal “bright” one.
The ONLY story we’ve heard was Wednesday, I think, and Brighton had sought Mr. Johnny out.  He’s the BMOC-- like, you find him for real serious stuff-- blood or bullying.  So I think Johnny was a little concerned when B came after him.  So after asking Brighton what was wrong, what could he do for him?  “Mr. Polk, I can’t find my pillow.  Actually, I haven’t had it since I got here.”  {They found it “in two shakes” the BMOC said.}  I am guessing if his pillow was his main concern, he’s just fine.

We got these pictures the very next day and I felt much better.

We loved the grounds— small enough for my kids to learn their way around in 10 minutes.  Things seemed close and the staff, well, they had more energy than I EVER remember having at 19 as a camp counselor.  Johnny promised to check on them and send pictures and he did.  As mom— of course I noticed B having on the SAME UT shirt two different days.  Can you IMAGINE?!  And WHY, when I counted TEN t-shirts in his trunk?!?  I have a serious mask to wear for when I open his trunk next week.  And Julia— as helpful and sweet as she is— everything I put in her trunk, I let it go. {That means I said goodbye for good.}  I wonder what we will never see again, what will come to us that does not belong to us and what I might just throw away.  

And guess what?  I don’t care.  I just can’t wait to see those two little jabbers.  I know they are exhausted— and I will let them rest and maybe whine a little.  But I can’t WAIT to see their faces, hear their voices, listen to their stories and have them sitting RIGHT beside me.  They can even argue a little on the way home if they want to.

As I was saying, it’s good to miss them.


Mike and Molly Spivey said...

For some reason this post made me tear up - I am emotional these days I guess. With the boys about to enter school and be away from us it has my stomach in knots most days, so I guess that's why.

I have a vivid memory of when I was 8 years old and went off to a camp. I didn't know a SOUL and my parents dropped me off on the big bus at a mall parking lot - sketch! I remember going to the camp director crying the first night asking to take me home. They said no and I ended up having the best time. I can still remember all the smells from that camp!

Alyssa said...

I hope you got to record the running commentary from B when he downloaded his week to you! Hope they enjoyed it!