We dropped our boys off at overnight summer camp for the first time on Sunday. They were totally ready. They were so excited that they were sitting in the hot car waiting while I was gathering the last-minute things in the house. They wanted to be there already!
I thought I was ready too.
I didn’t cry at preschool drop off. I didn’t cry on the first day of kindergarten. And I almost didn’t cry at camp drop off.
We got the beds made, the towels hung, organized the trunks and slid them under the bunks. Then it was time to say goodbye. That part wasn’t too bad. There was definitely a lump in my throat and a weight in my chest, but as we walked away from the 2nd cabin, I definitely had to choke back the tears.
I anticipated pulling away from camp feeling freedom and letting out a giant WOOHOOOO!!
But it was a little bit different. There was a solemness about leaving them behind that I wasn’t expecting. And it’s still with me.
Now don’t get me wrong.
Having an entire day to chop away at my to-do list was fantastic. In fact, I may or may not, have sat at my desk from 7 AM to 8 PM with hardly a break. But the fulfillment of catching up and accomplishment was tainted by this pervasive feeling that something was wrong. . . something was missing.
See, dropping the boys at camp means giving up total control.
I have no way to know how they’re doing. They promise you pictures online, but we’ve scoured every little punkin’ face for the last two days and only seen them once or twice. Apparently my boys are too busy having fun to stop and smile for the camera.
I can’t find them and aim the camera their way.
When a giant storm came thundering through on Sunday night, I laid awake in bed wondering how they would do when it passed through the camp. They usually want to see the radar so they know the size and intensity to expect. But not that night. They would just have to lay in that bunk. . . wondering if they’d be safe. I can’t comfort them and let them know the radar is all green with only a little red and the storm will pass in only 20 minutes.
I just have to live with this aching hole in my heart for the next few days and trust.
I have to trust that they are having the time of their lives. I have to trust that moldy towels, sunburns, and tummys full of sugar won’t kill them. I have to believe that they need this.
They need me to sit with this hole in my heart so they can grow up.
We grow the most in the ache. In the times we don’t understand. Especially the times we can clearly see an easier path, but have to keep going on the hard path… those are the times we grow. We’re being refined, being shaped. Being made ready for what’s next.
Your ache may be much bigger, much more serious and more long-term than mine is today.
Whatever it is though, sit with the ache, but keep going. You can do this. Take the next step.
Trust that you’re becoming exactly who you’re meant to be.
Control isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Growth is the good stuff.
to more love,