Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Yesterday we dropped Lilly and Jake off at camp for the first time ever! It was the culmination of a week's preparation for the departure. I made lists upon lists of camp 'must haves' and visited Walmart more times than I care to admit to make sure we had all the 'necessities'. (By the way, does a secret stash of poptarts count as necessity?) We had numerous 'meetings' in front of the suitcases where I gave directions on everything from 'where to put wet laundry' to 'read the label on your underwear to make sure it's yours'. Did I mention that I spent a considerable amount of time with a Sharpie and a large tower of underwear? I have to add that John was feeling a little jealous that his name wasn't sharpied into his underwear, so I had to oblige him. Much to his amusement, he is now sharpied too...hehe.

We set out for camp and travelled for a little less than an hour out to the 'country'. The road to the camp was a windy mile-long trek up to the top of a mountain. Ours nerves were climbing just as our van was struggling to make it to the top. I could hear the engine fan whizzing as we approached the summit. Thankfully we did not overheat. The view from the top was sure beautiful though! I wanted to take a picture to post, but of course I forgot my camera. The camp was neat, nestled right into the mountainside, complete with rustic cabins and the like.

So, we're standing in line waiting to register. Jake is having a meltdown because the other moms in line ahead of us seemed to be just standing there talking; this was not acceptable to Jake because he felt they were holding the line up. He wanted me to ask them to stop talking and pay attention to the line...hahah.... Who's kid is he?? He was more upset when I told him that I'd do no such thing.

Anyway, all the moms and other parents in line were all chatting, laughing, and being altogether jovial. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb... or I had a sign hanging around my neck that said "This is my first time". I stood there quietly, trying to summon up a smile instead of looking like I was going to puke. Did I really want to leave my children here? "Lord, Help me! Give me peace. Let me have confidence that You have my babies in Your hands and will keep them safe!" *sigh* We finally made our way up to the registration table and got our cabin assignments.

I showed Lilly (pointing my finger) where her cabin was because she didn't want to wait for us to go to Jake's first. I told her we'd get Jake set up and we'd be right there. So we went and met Jake's counselors, gave them the low-down, set up his bed, put everything very neatly and in order on the shelves beside his bed, checked out the toilets, made sure their was nothing gross, etc. I made sure Jake felt comfortable before we went to Lil's cabin.

We walked into Lilly's cabin, had a brief introduction with her counselor, but Lilly was nowhere to be found. "Oh, she's already at Gaga (game station)". Her bed was already set up, everything unpacked, etc. And she was already out the door playing with her new friends. I felt a lump in my throat and a little stabbing pain where my heart was being pierced because my baby was growing up. *sniff* So I did the motherly thing and checked everything out, even though I knew that she had done a fine job unpacking. I felt kind of stupid just standing there looking around, so we went out to find her.

We did find her having a blast with her friends, she ran up to me and kissed my cheek and said, "Bye Mom!" *another piercing pain*. She was ready for me to go. Thankfully for me Jake wasn't, so I got to hang around a little while longer. We managed to find a friend for Jake from his cabin and they bonded instantly over a praying mantis in a glass jar. Then, time for me to leave.

I prayed the whole way down that mountain that the Lord would keep my babies safe and keep me sane. I'm continually amazed and awed by the Lord's love for us as our heavenly Father. On the whole way home and the time since, He has reminded me how He loves us so much, He holds us close to His heart, He teaches us and admonishes us in the Way we should go, He disciplines us, cries for us, aches for us, cheers for us and ultimately lets us out into the world to make our own decisions.

Just like I wish I could keep my children under the umbrella of my arms forever and not let them go, take away their pains, fight all their battles, show them the right decisions, etc., God loves us the same way. It's hard and gut-wrenching to be a parent sometimes, letting your children out on their own, hoping that they'll remember what you've taught them and how you've raised them, praying that they'll grow into beautiful representations of Godly character. And I know that God feels the same way about us when He sends us out into the world to be salt and light.

It's a beautiful picture of parenthood that God experienced firsthand when He sent His one and only Son to earth, to teach us, reach us, and show the ultimate act of love by His sacrifice on the cross for our sins! Now we are joined with Him and will get to be with Him forever! It never ceases to amaze me and leaves me with a feeling of awe for the best Parent of them all.

I now leave my kids with Him in confidence, knowing that "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."~Colossians 1:17

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are brave and what a great perspective!