Psssst….don’t tell anyone, but my daughter went to Fourth Grade Camp and I miss her already. How is it possible? How many times have I silently longed for a break from the tedious responsibility, the endless chatter, and the countless questions? It has only been ten hours, and I have smelled her pajamas before I threw them into the washing machine! I already miss pulling up to the carpool line and seeing her beautiful smiling face as she proudly waves a paper blazing a brightly circled grade of 100. I miss her getting into the car and me asking her how her day went. She cheerfully responds, “Fine, thank you. How was yours? Tell me all about it. I want to hear every detail.” “Wow! Grace, that is so sweet of you. You are really becoming quite the lovely young lady!” Seconds later, the light bulb goes off, and I say, “Grace, did you get a bad grade?” The purge then begins.
She was so excited to go to camp. It is a rite of passage for every fourth grader. As soon as the packing list was sent home in her classroom mail, she anxiously awaited gathering all she needed for the excursion. By the time it was all said and done, her bag was the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. The camp said that they are a bed bug free camp and they will put the childrens’ bags in a heated room to make sure there are no bed bugs that enter the camp. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?????? IS THERE A CHANCE THAT SOME CRAZILY INDESTRUCTIBLE BEDBUGS HAVE AN AFFINITY FOR WARMER THAN AVERAGE TEMPERATURES??? Of course, a friend mentioned that they have no tornado emergency plan, SO as the currently massive storm system trudges across the area, it makes me a little nervous to think that my baby is exposed to the elements (of course, they are staying in air-conditioned cabins…not exactly roughing it). It was especially disconcerting when I recently stepped out of the shower to hear the severe weather sirens shrieking with alarm.
My mom was just visiting and I took her to the airport this afternoon. She said, “Enjoy your day tomorrow. Indulge yourself. You won’t get many days like this. Try not to get too lonely.” I thought, “Right.” She wasn’t even talking about today, she was talking about tomorrow. How pathetic am I???? It reminds me of how I feel when my husband goes out of town to a convention in Las Vegas. I look forward to the break, but as soon as he leaves the area code, I start missing him and look very forward to his return. Amazingly, as I sit and write this, the silence in the house is deafening. My husband is at a meeting and the dog has been fed. I am joining my girlfriend for dinner in twenty minutes. I finish getting dressed, and I look over to my bedside table and I see a picture of Grace dressed in her very first Halloween costume practically illuminated in its frame. I think it is God telling me to slow down and hold those who are dear very close. Enjoy these days because they are flying by in a blink. The last ten years have been a blur; I have no doubt the next ten will appear to pass even more quickly. As they say…Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.