For the last four years, my kids have gone to a week long overnight camp at a local lake with our church. Vacation Bible School, but kicked up a notch, what with the swimming, canoeing, and sleeping in musty cabins and what have you. I have always been the ‘cabin mom.’ There for my own kids, and usually bringing a few others along too.
This time, I can’t stay because camp is much later in the summer, and I am back to my full time schedule. When another mom said she would be the cabin mom this year and stay with my kids, I was all..”Sweet! Cool! Win win.. kids get to have fun, and I get to be kid free for a few days! I’m gonna crank my inappropriate music, curse in the house, and I’m going to karaoke at the ‘sino with mah fren Jen. Bring on the woot woot!” And this year’s mom is great, loves my kids, and I have taken her daughter to camp with me for the last few years, so it’s her turn I suppose. All good, right?
Not so much.
There’s a lake. There are spiders. There are mice. There are places to fall. Nightmares to have. Feelings to get hurt. I. Won’t. Be. There.
My kid-free time is really not all pink puffy clouds now. It is a big gray worry cloud. I have no doubts in the cabin mom’s capabilities. She rocks. But this is the first time they’ve been to a camp without me, or anywhere for that long without a family member there. So its weird. I have to let it go.
And then… Ruby passes the Life Guard’s swim test, and won’t be wearing a life jacket in the lake. *Gasp* She is a great swimmer, there is an attentive life guard, and a designated swimming area. I have to let it go.
And then… River gets invited to go on a 5 mile hike with some of the dads and boys. His dad is not there. So, I put his booster in the car of a dad I hardly know, kiss him, “be careful” and I have to let it go.
<insert heavy sigh>
I’m not as cool as I think I am, clearly. But hey.. despite my guilt leaving my kids to defend themselves against the spiders and such, I did find some moments of humor. Church camp graffiti cracks me up:
This one, really? Pray! We are Jesus Freaks!
And then there is this one:
Because written in sharpie on the wall of a cabin really makes you feel it.
And then.. oh…. those teenage girls…..
Dreamy life guard, or ‘gaurd’ as they would prefer to spell it. And let’s clarify that she means Alex, and not, you know, Sarah (awkward). I love it. The best part is when River saw all of the writing on the walls and bunk beds, he just rolled his eyes and said, “hmpf! Teenagers.” A few more years he’ll be writing on those bunks, and I’ll pack the sharpies in his duffle bag.