Yesterday, Heather came home from the beach, making our house whole once again. This morning, I sent Stephanie off to camp. Once again, the balance of the Robinson household is disrupted.
Stephanie has never been out of town without us before. Not only is she without us, she is without anyone she knows really well. Even though Stephanie has been going to church for years and always at the same time, she has not made any lasting friendships for some reason. She doesn't even seem to know the leaders that well. I have been stretched to my mommy limit last week and this week. We have allowed our children room to spread their wings and experience new things. I recognize and understand their need to experience some things in life without us standing by so close. This understanding does not make the separation comfortable for me.
I started going to camp when I was only a few years older than Stephanie and went to camps well into my twenties. I loved the camp experience. I know she will be enriched beyond belief. I know she will form bonds with girls her age in a way that could not be made elsewhere. I know she will form attachments to her counselors and leaders who will supply solid positive examples of who she will strive to be in life. I know that children need as many positive examples as possible to figure out who they want to be.
But I will miss her. Just like I missed Heather last week.
Stephanie is showing me how crazy excited she is to go to camp.
Stephanie's counselor is a 17 year-old named Taylor. She is very enthusiastic! She is involved in theater at school. Stephanie warmed up to her immediately (so did Heather). Stephanie also started making a new friend at the group table while the kids waited to board the buses. Whew! We were a little worried about her going off to camp with no buddies to hang out with. But she is turning out far braver than Greg and I ever felt we were!
When it was just about time to go, she gave Heather and me hugs and kisses. She thanked me for letting her go to camp. She shed not a tear. I watched her get on the bus and stood waiting for it to pull away. I cried a little behind my sunglasses. Heather said she cried too.