Dear Readers (Days 5-13),
As many of you that follow me on Facebook know, during my trip to camp my stepmother lost a hard fought battle with esophageal/stomach cancer. (If you happen to see me on visiting day, don’t mention it in front of my daughter – she doesn’t know.)
That said, I left camp after 4 days to be there with her in Hospice and there for my dad. I won’t go into much detail, but my stepmother was a young vibrant and amazing light on this Earth. She was the most positive and supportive person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.
It was such an insane transition. I went from camp, a place where I felt like a kid in many ways, though the reality of my maturity was never more obvious, to a place where I felt like a kid who was too immature to handle the responsibilities I needed to take on.
When I went home, I left my kids at camp without me … the one thing I didn’t intend on doing during this summer journey. Remember, I’m the crazy mom who rolled out of the bus to follow her kids? For eight days I lived in a different reality. I didn’t check the camp pictures more than one time. I was where I needed to be both physically and mentally and I guess somehow was able to find comfort from the days I’d had at Camp Lenox to be confident my kids would be happy and safe.
To be honest, this is not something I would have been so confident in, had I not been there to experience the camp. I’m the insanely neurotic mom who runs through all scenarios, who worries about kids running on the rocks or eating hard candies in bed… the one who would normally scour the pictures to see if my kids look happy or sad and assume that whatever emotion was conveyed was representative of their overall mood. The one day I did look at pictures, J seemed miserable, yet it didn’t even phase me. I had been at camp with him. I know how much he’s loving it… it’s just a single second captured on film.
I’ve made the same mistake with letters. I know parents are concerned when they receive sad letters and calls (I was… I think I called nearly every day, 2 years ago, when J was here because his letters were so depressing — A habit I now regret, as I sit at a table with the man I bugged daily, and he brings it up often).
This summer I get to see the kids who parents are concerned about from their letters — and they’re having an absolute ball throughout the day. I have to assume that when they get some quiet time, down time, they miss their families, and this quiet time is when they’re supposed to be writing. They should have kids dictate letters to counselors in the middle of an event … Like the first time they do something they swore they wouldn’t do (like tubing) and they get off totally elated and ready to go back again. Or when they make an important basket or goal during a tournament where they’re the youngest on the team. Or when they’re doing busboy games at the table to determine who gets stuck bringing back the plates.
I don’t know how much of that is shared in their letters, but I see it firsthand and I’m realizing that camp isn’t really about the big things. The things they may write about, like winning a talent show or color war. Those things are amazing but camp is this unique place where the energy at a constant hum. The true joy of it is the sum of numerous small but monumental moments that happen in a single day. The little details … an impromptu cheer, getting a part in a play, hitting a sacrifice RBI, having your crush talk to you at a social, having a friend make you a bracelet out of gimp, sitting in your favorite counselor’s lap, having a yelling battle over who has more spirit, finding that perfect stick that looks like a pitchfork to roast multiple marshmallows, playing SPIT on a rainy day.
I got to feel that spirit in the short 4 days I was here and I want to experience more of it. So, I came back, which is something my stepmother would have pushed me to do.
I hope the series makes her proud.
KIT, SWAK, XOXO,
Jenny From the
Blog Bunk at Camp Lenox
The best way to follow the camp adventure is to go to the FACEBOOK PAGE — HOVER OVER THE “LIKED” BUTTON AND PUSH “GET NOTIFICATIONS”
And please take a sec to like the posts or share this with any friends who’ve been to camp, have kids in camp, or people who like need something to amuse them this summer…