I dropped my oldest child off at camp this afternoon. A pretty normal thing for a mom to do in the summer and not an experience I am unfamiliar with. But today it was hard.
This year she didn't want to go to camp and I was a mean mom and made her go anyway. It's good for her. She just didn't want to go because she's 11 and moody and it's a camp that's new to her. She was going if I had to drag her there kicking and screaming.
So why was it so hard for me to drive away today?
I think there are a few reasons not the least of which is that we have grown really close this summer and I have seen huge changes in her that thrill my heart to pieces...and I have a feeling she's going to be still more changed when she comes back from camp. I love the young woman she's becoming but I sure do miss my baby girl...and every day is another day farther from the baby and closer to teh grown woman.
Another reason is she's at the age now where what others think of you is really starting to matter. She's gorgeous, inside and out. She's smart and funny and talented and athletic and just completely wonderful and I can't help but be a little worried that others won't see what I see...that SHE won't see what I see. Being the age that she is it's easy for feelings to be hurt, misunderstandings to occur, and I am feeling a little worried that someone will do just that while she is away and I am not there to comfort her broken heart.
And lastly...it was hard for me to drive away from camp with just her brother in the car because honestly, I am a little afraid he's going to drive me completely insane this week. No lie. The kid talks and talks and talks....about all kinds of things that I really am not all that interested in or that involve so many details (and questions) I just can't keep it all straight in my head! I love him, he's my baby, but he has a the capability of driving me completely mental. And I am kinda afraid he's going to burn down the house while he's home on his own and I am at work!
In all seriousness though, it's going to be a strange week with just her brother and I. I miss my girl big time. We had a great week together last week when her brother was at camp. I know it's going to be a great week with him while she's away. It's just a bit strange.
I am thrilled that my kids have the chance to attend camp each summer. It's only because of the generosity of others that they get this opportunity as I couldn't afford it on my own. It's such a blessing. My prayer is that, while my daughter is at camp this year, she'll not only make friends with some really great girls, friendships that carry forward into the coming years, but that she'll encounter God like she never has before and that she'll come home with a new sense of her worth and the confidence that comes from knowing she matters to Him. While she is gone, this mother's heart is going to be praying hard for her....knowing that this summer could change everything for her.
As a parent, have you ever had a moment in your child's life that you felt was pivotal in shaping how the coming days went? Ever taken your kid to camp? How did you feel, how did you deal with those feelings and what came out of it?