Postcards From Camp


Wow! I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since January. Eek. There isn’t a particular reason for my silence. I’ve just been focused on other things and my writing has fallen to the wayside. I miss it. It felt good to sit back down with my thoughts for company. Like an old friend who you haven’t spoken with in a while, it’s easy to pick right back up where we left off. And I see a lot more writing in my future – of the letter variety. My oldest daughter left for overnight camp last week. She’ll be gone for four long weeks. I know, some of you might be wondering why I’d want her to stay for so long. The answer is I didn’t. But she asked me, actually begged me, to go. I’m not against the idea of overnight camp. I went when I was growing up. My first year didn’t go so well, but after that I switched camps and loved it. I think it’s a great opportunity to instill kids with a sense of confidence and independence. But in my head I thought she’d go when she was ten. So I figured we had another year and another summer together. But when she continued to pursue the subject, I decided that while I might not be ready, she was.


So we met with the “camp lady” and she showed us videos of different options. I hadn’t intended to have her decide that way. I envisioned us going on a road trip, driving to the different camps so she could see them live and get a feel for what she liked best. But we missed our window of opportunity, so videos it was. She decided on Agawak in Minocqua, WI. I realize that things don’t always go according to plan, but I was nervous. How could she possibly make a decision from watching a video? I have to trust that she chose something that is the right fit. So I took a leap of faith and now she’s almost five hours away.


The goodbye was hard. I didn’t cry, outwardly at least. I put on my brave face and told her how proud I was and wished her an amazing time. Because I am proud. She not only had the courage to leave home for a month, but she went on her own. When she signed up she didn’t know another soul that was going. None of her friends go to overnight camp. That didn’t deter her. She said she’d make new friends. When I went to camp it was with a group of girls from school – I don’t think I’d ever have gone on my own. I think I often take the safe route. And I do have some regrets about it. I don’t know where she gets her courage. She’s this tiny thing with a big heart and a daredevil spirit. But I’m glad that it’s a part of who she is and that she was ready to take on this adventure.


She’s been gone a week and I have yet to receive a letter. The camp posts pictures and blog updates, so I have some exposure to what’s been happening. But I have so many questions and not being able to get answers is unnerving. When I was driving earlier I heard the song “I Hope You’ll Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. It hasn’t been on in ages, but I took it as a good sign because I love its message.


I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance


Maddie, I’m so glad you decided to dance.


As for me, I promise not to wait so long between posts next time. Until we meet again.

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