As anyone who even casually reads this blog knows, my kids went off to sleep away camp for the first time this summer. There was the stress of getting everything they needed, getting it labeled and getting it packed-but somehow between school events and softball games we made that happen. You can read in on the day I dropped the girls at the bus here to get a flavor for my overall mindset about sending them off to camp.
Roughly three weeks into camp (two weeks ago) was visiting day. Visiting day for me struck up a lot of memories about visiting day when I went to camp. To help with those memories, my mom made the trip to Monticello with me.
The picture is when I was walking onto the camp grounds, the kids were all lined up, waiting to see their parents, and then there was a mad dash. The interesting thing here is that I saw 8.5 first-well before she saw me. I didn’t see 11.0 until she was about four feet away. Seeing them made me realize how much I missed having them around, but seeing them also made me realize how good it’s been for them to be at camp and having this experience that is theirs and one they can share with me.
As we walked around the camp grounds, went swimming, took out a row-boat, sat under a tree eating fried chicken, getting ice cream at the canteen-I realized this was their place and I was just the visitor. I think that’s the first time I felt like that with the girls. It’s not a feeling I get when I go to their school. It’s not really the kind of feeling I got when I went to see their plays and gymnastic shows at day camp. I got the feeling this was their place and their memories they could share with me the way they want to-and when they want to.
Hopefully, they’ll be willing to share and hopefully I can get them to embrace this concept that it’s great for them to have moments that are theirs to share.