Thursday, June 29, 2006

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

no i didnt


8:24 PM  

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