Last weekend, thousands of families were reorganized (albeit temporarily), as children left for summer camp. For families that participate in this ritual, it is viewed as a tremendous gift, and an opportunity to learn independence. For those that don’t participate, it can be viewed as an odd – who sends their kid away for the summer?
Sally took the big step and went to summer camp. It is tough saying goodbye to your nine year old child. For me, it’s even harder. I’ve had my “two child household” reduced to one child before. Staring into an empty bedroom that used to be filled with activity is very unsettling. I’m not suggesting that missing a child who is away at camp is anything like the missing feeling after a child has died. That would be irrational . . . but emotions are not always rational. However, I’m hoping that there is a similarity here.
The reality is that Sally is not with me. I don’t hear her. I can’t hug her. I don’t get to experience her. Every day, I search the camp’s website for photos. I am hoping for a glimpse. I am hoping that she’s safe. I am hoping that she’s happy. Fortunately, she is. I just saw a photo of her showing off a chocolate cake that she baked. She has the biggest smile. The photos are comforting and reassuring.
I wish there were photos from heaven. I can only hope that heaven is a lot like summer camp. I’d love to see his smile and know that he is safe and maybe even having fun. That would make me feel a lot better.