Saturday, July 20, 2013

Her own journey

All this for only 8days - and I only packed what was on the list
Mini-me is completely packed for camp. Clothes, towels, , camp t-shirts, blanket for council fire, flashlight, riding gear and more. She told me that she is nervous and excited that it will be full of people she doesn’t know but is “for sure” going to make new friends. I’m thrilled with her mature optimism.

I remember what it was like to be packed off to camp – to hope you don’t cry when saying goodbye, to be excited to meet new people and hope they like you. To be nervous, scared and excited all at once.

Mini-me doesn’t know anyone at camp or anyone going. I’ve explained the whole thing about having special camp friends – friends you can write to during the year and then connect with again the next summer.  I’ve been really positive and encouraging. I’ve done everything the books say. BUT…for the first time, I’m feeling apprehension.  Now, let me be clear - I’m not an “ooey-gooey” kind of mom. I love my daughter dearly, I’m proud of her, who she is and what she has done but I’ve always been quite practical about sending her off to daycare, preschool, kindergarten, etc. I scarcely batted an eye when I left her multiple times with Beach as I traveled for business or with dear friends when I when to be with Neiman during cancer treatment. I knew she was in good hands and would have a great time.

But now? I am 100% certain she will make great friends, relish new experiences and have the time of her life.   I also know she’ll start this journey in the parking lot of a WalMart. I’ll watch her board a bus to a destination that she will know better than I do.  Unlike play dates and sleepovers at homes I’m familiar with and people I know well, this is truly her own experience. I won’t see it or share it. I won’t meet these friends, hear the laughter or watch the fun.

I’m so proud of how Mini-me now sees friendships. She knows we have those special friends who are like family.  She knows friends don’t always stay friends – that people change, aren’t always nice and can be real shitheads behind her back.  She knows that it’s better to have a few really good friends than a bunch of people are can’t be counted own. She’s friendly – or maybe just decent – to them all but she gets the game.  Still, she forges ahead determined to make these new connections.

I am very certain I will tear up tomorrow. I will hide my watery eyes behind my sunglasses. I will chat with the other parents as gear is loaded.  I will remind her to write me, to shower (and wash all parts), change her underwear and be nice to all.  But this is her journey.  Let  her come home with rocks, pictures, sewing projects, amazing memories and few more great people in her life.  She will get on the bus with strangers and I hope she comes off the bus with friends. 

I can’t wait to hear all about it.

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