Here I am again in the midst of a week long sleep away camp, this year for my oldest two kids. In the week preceding sleep away camp, we had our share of ups and downs. We had a whine-free day that was celebrated with a trip to the ice cream shop. We had an evening out to the movies and dinner where I thought I might actually leave my third under the table and RUN. We had joyful giggles heard from the backyard as the kids camped out in their tent. And Saturday, the day before camp drop-off I thought the seemingly endless sibling bickering was going to send momma away for a week to cray-cray camp!
But Sunday morning, as each woke up on their own time, I found them snuggled together in my 3 year old’s bed watching a movie on an old iPhone. They proudly finished up their packing on their own. Carefully gathering their own stationary and stamps, asking if addresses they’d written down were correct and making sure their hats, books, and journals were all packed.
As I was moving about the house, I noticed what else they were up to before departing. My big kids had decided to leave each of us ‘left behind’ little love notes. One for mom and dad of course, one for little sister, and the cutest one of all, for jakey, our big yellow dog.
My favorite parenthood phrase was recently shared on facebook by momastery, who pretty much sums it up for me regularly. She left me with this thought – Don’t spend so much time worrying about raising good kids that you forget that you already have some. I’ve kept this with me for a few weeks now. Holding it closely when I’m sure I’m screwing something up for them. But look at these two. They are doing it and doing it fearlessly.
As my bigs, packed much of themselves, settled in themselves, left a little love for their family, thought about others that may want to hear from them, not a cry was heard. Not a moment of trepidation. They were responsible, strong, capable, loving, and happy, happy, happy. When we said our good-byes for the week and walked away from our confident and content kids, the only tears were mine.