I sat at the pool today ….a blank laptop screen in front of me…reflecting on a blank mind with nothing to say….until I left a piece of my heart…..at a summer camp….in a cabin with five other boys, ….and a counselor named Lyvth.
Super Tall Guy went to this camp in October for two nights with his fifth-grade class. He had a great time. He and his best friend decided they wanted to go for a week in the summer. I am hoping that they have a great time again.
It was a tough weekend leading up to it. The poor guy had some GI upset which mercifully resolved. Then we had the suspense of his friend’s baseball tournament. Drop off times were from 4-6 pm. The baseball game was at one. If they won, he would have another game and then not go to camp until the next morning. Super Tall Guy was reluctant to go to camp without his buddy. I tried explaining the importance of that first night. You are going to hear all the rules. You pick your beds in the cabin. You meet your counselor. Other kids are new too. It’s the time to get settled in together. If you wait for the morning, you will miss some important things.
He was not swayed. He needed his friend. It was too stressful to think about being there alone.
Thankfully, the team lost and their tournament ended. We made it to camp at 5:30 and they got the last two bunks side by side.
B’s mom and I helped them make their beds. We took the mandatory photos. We awkwardly stood around. The counselor gracefully exited for good-byes. I sent the “annoying” younger brothers outside for a few minutes. I leaned over to Super Tall Guy, kissed the top of his head and said, “I love you.” “Leave,” he replied. Yes, that’s my boy.
We stood outside the cabin for a minute. I swallowed my heart skip and quieted the tears that threatened. My eldest was in a cabin and I was leaving him. This time he had one friend and a “village” of about fifty other boys to meet. Instead of stories about classmates keeping him up all night, he’ll have stories of five other boys he’s going to get to know, some of whom were returning for the third or fourth time. Instead of teachers and school counselor watching over him, he’ll be on his own to remember the bug spray (I’m pretty sure B will be better at remembering it and reminding him!), to figure out where he should be and when, and to get to sleep. Instead of being surrounded by people who know him, he’s going to be on his own negotiating his stance and emotions and behaviors.
Lyvth seemed like a really great guy in the two minutes I saw him. The returning campers had great rapport with him. He looked like he was going to be fun. I’m entrusting my son to him.
Most days, Super Tall Guy drives me crazy. He pushes all my buttons. He argues with 99.9% of what I ask of him.
And yet, he holds a pretty big chunk of my heart.
Which is now 20 miles away….
For the next five days….
But, since there were three boys chattering happily (and occasionally unhappily) in the back of the van as we drove home, there wasn’t much mental space to think about it.
Now, at 7:30, I sit at the pool again. The pizza is delivered. The beer is cold. The heart is full. And I’m praying God’s blessings on the boys.
I am happy for Super Tall Guy.
I sure hope he’s happy too.