Sleepover Summer Camp, yo.

TWO of my THREE spawn have flown the coop.

They packed their bags… filled with sunscreen, underwear (it’s there, I checked), a bath towel, a beach towel, at least 4 pairs of shorts, t-shirts, 2 sweat shirts, and so on and so forth…

But I forgot to pack a flashlight for this girl.

HOWEVER, I did send a little care package and made sure it I put one in there… along with glow bracelets, Skittles, a pair of fun socks, a letter, and a few other little tokens of love…

A trip had me away from home Thursday to Sunday. I lallered and napped on the couch Sunday evening as my sweet daughter fluttered about, waiting for me to take her to the store to get a few last-minute things before leaving Monday morning. Monday finally arrived, we got Livi to the church parking lot with all her stuff and…ย I was so busy being tired/in post-trip recovery that I wasn’t feeling particularly emotional about this rather significant right of passage.

ย Well, not until she got on the bus.

That girl.

I climbed on the bus to help put my daughter’s sleeping bag in the rack above the seats inside the bus. When I turned around to give her a hug and kiss goodbye it hit me. I watched and listened as my girl got giggly with the other girls and I had to choke back tears.


From the day our little people emerge from THE PLACE FROM WHICH THEY EMERGE … we work to help them grow. We strive to help them become competent and responsible and independent. When they are 5 we hope they are independent enough to tie their own shoes.

Or we buy stock in velcro.

When the kidlets are 5 we don’t really think about how each added competency builds on another until one day… our little birds get their wings. Though this is what we want… though this independence is right and good and healthy… it is really really hard to actually LET them go.

Today I’m only talking about 4 nights of sleepover camp.

I can’t even handle the thought of college right now.

There is a certain bitter-sweetness in seeing your child take flight.

You read it in September on Facebook after mother after mother after mother posts, “Just dropped off Bobby. First day of kindergarten. HOLD ME.”

From dropping off baby at the nursery for the first time, to the first day of preschool, to summer camp, to….

The baby books talk about nursing and rashes. But they say nothing about letting go… and though breastfeeding became the seventh circle of hell for my defective milk makers… letting go has been more tough than bleeding, nursing nipples.



With one of my birds out in the wild… it was time to run a few more errands and get the 14 year old all squared and ready for his flying of the coop the next morning. It was a tough night. And that is really all I can say. But we got on our way the next morning and I forced one of those, “HEY E’ERYBODY, SMILE!!!” pictures on our way in the car…


The realization that Lucy will be the only kid in the house has not yet occurred to her in this picture. She was busy being excited about her new purple scarf. And really, that is as it should be.

I forced my boy to take a picture with me before he even got out of the car. I didn’t really force him to. He knows me, and he obliges. He loves me. But I know it wasn’t his first choice of activities…

Look at that, “I don’t want to do this, but I love my mom so I’ll do it” face!

Then, of course, I tried to get a picture of him with his camper-y stuff while in the registration line. This time, he refused to look at me.


And just like that… he’s off.

Camp in 2013 is FAR different than camp in 1988.

I’ll admit it… it was hard for me to wrap my mind around him not being able to take his phone. But then I thought back to the late 80’s… in my overnight camp days and THERE WERE NO PHONES !

My parents did just fine. And I did too.

And here I sit. At home. Wondering what my kids are doing. Hoping they are warm. Hoping their shoes are dry. I can see a few pictures of my daughter on one of the leader’s walls on Facebook. I have stalked the pages of a couple of the leaders of my sons camp. Nothing on him just yet.

I miss them.

I am excited for them.

If you have kiddos… have you done this yet? what are your thoughts? What do you put in your care packages? Have you forgotten to pack your kid a flashlight too?


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10 Responses to “Sleepover Summer Camp, yo.”

  1. Lucrecer says:

    My two youngest I have not sent off to camp. My oldest has gone and done a few things on her own, but I believe she was older than yours. It is still never easy to see them go.

    • It’s not. I am thankful they were able to go. We were able to earn Livi’s way to most of her camp. SUCH a blessing. If not, I don’t think either could have gone! I really am excited for their opportunity to fly ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. My oldest is doing her first of two alone trips this week. She’s gone three days with some really good family friends to the beach and then flying to her grandparents ALONE in a couple of weeks. My husband is the pusher of these moments…I would gladly lock her up for 10 more years. I SO struggle with not having her with me. This is the longest she’ll have been away from me outside of her Grandmother caring for her a couple of times while we’ve gone on an adult vacation. But, that just seemed different. These are ‘big girl’ moments. Independence…’she’s starting to grow up a bit’ type things. I don’t like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh mama… my heart to yours. It’s so hard. You are going to do fine… My son had the opportunity to go to Grandma & Grandpa’s (on a plane), but he has a big problem with flying. If we could afford for me or my husband to accompany him, he’d do it. Therefore, he has never been away with my parents without mom and dad. ๐Ÿ™

  3. jennielynn says:

    We didn’t do camp with Kate, because of the custody situation, but two years ago, I DID put her on a bus, which led to a plane, which landed in London. Holy crap, that was hard.

    Hugs. Prayers. Mental Jose Coronas.

  4. Jo says:

    COLLEGE?!?!?! Oh Em Gee….The Girl only has two years left! (โŠ™oโŠ™) So not ready…still trying to convince her to stay at home and commute to the college that’s only about 20 miles away. She’s not sure what she wants to do yet…she kinda wants to spread her Wong’s a bit and fly solo for at least a little while… which makes me a little sad, but she’s just growing up…how dare she! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Jo says:

    Uighur, spread her *wings* a bit…sheesh! (โŠ™oโŠ™)

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