Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rained Out

We have been blessed with more rain recently than we could ever have hoped for. As much as the constant rain has been an inconvenience to my daily plans, it's hard to be grumpy with a small child around! Splashing in the puddles was the highlight of his day...much more fun than going to the bank or the post office. This picture serves as a reminder of the greatness of God's small miracles - the needed rain and the healthy child.

Off to Camp

I received a letter from Katherine today. No big deal except that she's only seven (ok, turning 8 next week) and we drove 5 hours this past Sunday to drop her, and her two older sisters, off at a two-week (ok, only 12 days) camp ( That's huge, not only for her, but also for us.

It seemed only natural to send Katherine to camp. After all, her sisters had a great experience at SB2W last year. Granted they only went for the shorter nine-day term. But five hours is a long drive, and camp was so much fun that the older girls had wanted to stay longer, so wasn't the next logical step to send everyone, and for the longer term?

Back in October we reserved 3 spaces for First Term, the only one that fit into our already crowded schedule. All year Katherine would ask her sisters questions about camp. All year her sisters would regale her with stories and songs and camp protocol. All was well. Or so we thought.

Because her birthday falls during the 2-week camp term, Katherine decided to have her party before she left. Between lacrosse tournaments and other events the only remaining Saturday was the one immediately before the Sunday we were to take the girls to camp. The day began with the characteristic chaos of "the-guests-are-coming-let's-clean-up," and an extremely sullen birthday girl. Party time arrived and the guests began arriving. Katherine wasn't in a party mood. I guess it was a major mistake on my part to schedule the party so close to camp. Too late. She did rally toward the end of the party and did end up having a good time. Later, we had dinner and then she went to bed, again a very sad girl. I wasn't sure if we would be able to leave her at camp after all. I sure wasn't going to go back up there mid-week to retrieve her!

Amazingly enough Sunday morning came and we had 3 girls raring to go! All three, including Katherine, had their camp faces on! We made the drive in the pouring rain, dropped them off in the sunshine, and drove home again in the pouring rain. The weather matched my mood perfectly. As soon as we had unpacked the girls and we were out of sight, I fell apart. How could we leave her? What if she hated it and was homesick. I knew she'd have fun if she tried, but I wasn't convinced she would see through her sadness to try. It is fortuitous that Caroline and her friend Mattie are in the next cabin and will look after Katherine. And biggest sister Morgan isn't that far away either. It may not feel much like camp to have her sisters there "helping" her, but at least she won't be lonely.

Back to her letter: She didn't ask to come home.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

3 swimmers

Katherine's 1st Swim Meet

Three weeks ago I signed the girls up for swim team, my only hope being that my non-swimmers would become reliable swimmers. After all we're sending all three girls away for 2 weeks to a camp where they'll swim in a pool & lake every day. I needed some reassurance that they'd stay afloat!

As of 2 weeks ago Katherine was suiting up with all the gear - brightly colored orange & fuchsia team swim suit & goggles, and even a purple swim cap! But she was not participating. She was standing on the steps and politely refusing ("no, thank you") to put her face in the water. Not a great start to a swim team career! She didn't swim in the first meet. The coach told us that she wouldn't put Katherine in the line-up until she could actually swim across the pool. Fine by us! I signed her up for swim lessons in addition to swim team and she has made wonderful progress, first by blowing bubbles, then getting her head wet, to finally sitting on the bottom of the pool. Tuesday afternoon she learned to float & take freestyle strokes. We went from her lesson straight to the meet, expecting that only Morgan & Caroline would swim. When we arrived the coach told us that Katherine would be swimming (yikes!) the 25m freestyle & a relay.

So never having actually swum the stroke, or even having made it all the way across the pool during practice, Katherine willingly entered the pool for her race. She made it about 4 feet before deciding she'd better turn around. She got out with a smile on her face showing satisfaction for having gotten into the deep end and tried.

Wish you all could have been there. She was a trooper and an inspiration to us all!

Tonight at practice she made it all the way across the pool actually taking the proper strokes...taking breaks on the the lane line....but not giving up. We can't wait to see what the next meet brings...stay tuned!