Saturday, July 18, 2009

Trinity Pines

I vaguely remember seeing the mothers

standing in the foyer of church



surrounded by suitcases filled with snacks, outfits and sunscreen.

the kids

bouncing like little Tiggers

eager to start their adventure

Barely noticed them

because I was chasing around a toddler

who was crawling over the suitcases

begging for snacks

and trying to eat the sunscreen.

It never dawned on me that my toddler

would grow up

turn into a bouncy T-I-double "gu" "er"

and need a suitcase of his own

filled with rice krispy treats, outfits and spf 30.

"It will be forever before my baby goes to camp."


Forever passed in what felt like four days

There I stood, in the church foyer




how on earth I became one of "those" mothers

with a child old enough to go off for four days.

It's not an urban legend.

The babies you are holding





really do

grow up

pack bags




I remember when Anson was only 11 days old.

I was nursing him, and Aaron came in the room.

I was crying.

Tears running all down my face.

Aaron quickly came to me and asked what was the matter.

Through sobs, I said...

"He's 11 days old, Aaron."

Aaron was confused, but was trying to play along.

"'re right. He is."

I tried to explain...

"I love him so much, but today he is 11 days old, and in a few years, he'll be ten, and then he'll be 18, and then he will leave."

full throttle crying at this point

Aaron was so sweet...

"Yes. He will turn 10. He will turn 18. He will leave. But today, he's 11 days old."

I pulled the crying back down into first...okay, maybe second.

The night before Anson left for camp, I told Aaron this was so hard to do. I wanted Anson to go. I know he's going to have such a great time. But, it's hard to think of him leaving.

"What's the hardest part about Anson going," Aaron said.

"I'm going to miss so many of his moments."

Funny how, it's these little things, like sending a kid off to camp for a few days, that can make you sit and think big, Hagrid-sized thoughts.

Since Anson has been gone this week thoughts like these have lounged around in my head...

If the next 10 years go as quickly as the first 10, it really will seem like tomorrow and he'll be in college, or getting married.

Is he ready?

Lord, are we teaching him enough...about the things that really matter?

Am I cherishing the moments I still have the privilege to see as much I should be cherishing them?

Do I see the days he's here, at home with us, as valuable as they truly are?

Although I hope he has a great time at camp, at college, as a married man...will there be things about home that he looks back on and feels good...content...satisfied and thankful?

Are we making memories and marks on him that he will always want to keep with him, packed deep in his soul?

I pray camp has been good for Anson's heart...but it's also been good for mine.

I'm glad I want him to have a great time, to have new experiences, and do "older boy" things.

That's probably healthy.

But I'm also glad I genuinely miss him, and have been reminded how much I like him, enjoy him, and notice when he's not here. He is so helpful around here.

That's probably healthy too.

Camp is a great reminder that babies get bigger, and that our days with them are numbered. It makes ordinary days sparkle a little treasure.


cristina said...

:) we got to sit at the feet of some WONDERFUL teachers talk about launching kids. let me know if you want me to share my notes.

she included a poem she gave to her first daughter in law as a shower gift--to include with apron strings that were cut from an old apron.

Mandy said...

I've had those same thoughts about if the next 10 years go as fast as the first, then it's going to be no time before they're gone. It really makes me want to work hard and be strategic about how we raise our kids. The time will slip away without me realizing it if I keep thinking "I'll work on that later".
Reminds me of the story where a dad put one marble in a jar for every Saturday he had left until his son turned 18 and would take one out each week. It seems like we have an infinite number of marbles when the kids are little.

Anonymous said...

It was my first year to go to camp as a counselor and one of the unexpected moments for me was watching the moms say goodbye to their kids for four days. And watch my own little ones bawling in the parking lot as I drove away to camp. So hard!

Anson was a part of something so special that it can't be sufficiently described. God moved in those kids and in the counselors in a life-changing, never could forget it kind of way. You did such a wonderful mom-thing by sending him.