Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Preparing for Camp

I am knee deep in packing my girl for her first sleep-away camp. With only three more days until her departure, I have ironed labels into every fabric article and taken a sharpie to everything else. We've folded, rolled, ziplocked and smashed as much as her purple footlocker can hold. Yet, I am reminded daily of other things I need to add to her supplies--or insure she knows how to handle.

It occurred to me today as I was making another WalMart run that this experience is quite a metaphor for parenting. We plan. We discuss. We try to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before us. We compare notes with other parents. We read the suggestions/guidelines. We make/modify/check lists. Yet, no matter how much we plan (ahem, worry) we simply cannot anticipate every need or scenario. At some point we have to exhale and send them off--trusting that God has much more in store for our offspring than what we alone can provide.

I will never forget a comment my friend L. made last year when her daughter returned from her first camp: "It was incredible. She came back having gotten something I didn't even know she needed." Beautifully humbling.

This, of course, is the reason for sending...a tiny release that allows little developing wings to practice. A trust exercise for Mama & Daddy, reminding us that she is His first. This is only the beginning of many adventures she will likely have without us present.

She is ecstatic. After packing for two straight hours Monday she skipped through the house singing, "I feel confident!" I think she is far more ready than I am.

Our curly girl won't be here to tuck in for six nights. We will certainly miss her terribly, but are thrilled for her adventure and cannot wait to hear her stories and to see what God has in store!


Kerin said...

I remember Kait's first year. I checked computer several times a day for photos of her. One day I didn't see any of her and called the camp to request photos of her to be taken. Always first mom there to pick them up. They end up not even touching half the stuff you pack. (Send bug spray). It's going to be a great week for her but a rough one for you!

Kelly said...

Such fun memories- for both of you! Letting my girls go bit by bit has grown me as the Momma, too. Now my 6 year old is heading to her first YL camp, and I am so excited to see her faith blossom:-) (Plus a little jealous- the camp looks incredible!) Hope your sweet little one has a wonderful time, and you are able to relax and cherish the time with the different dynamic that always occurs when one of our kids is away.

Kelly said...

My 16 year old. I wish she was still 6! (Freudian slip maybe? HA!)

Unknown said...

I can appreciate this post because it so mirrors my life a few weeks ago. I sent my 20 year old daughter away for three months of living on her own two hours away to do a summer internship. It was a lot of work, planning and obsessing on my part, but I had/have a peace that this is where God wants her right now. Hope your week is filled with peace that only God can provide!
Terri in Arizona