Usually by the time Leah heads to camp it is the end of the school year, recitals have just finished, projects are done and everyone is exhausted. All the getting up early, managing deadlines and homework, schlepping, hours of rehearsal and messy rooms uncovered have driven us both to short tempers and rolling eyes. By the time camp rolls around some time apart is often times appreciated.
This year is a little different.
This year at the end of all the mayhem there was an appendectomy. There was downtime and plans to be changed and managing of expectations and just, well, hanging. Along the way came some space and perspective and a reminder that life is as fragile as a blink is quick.
This year there were fears of not knowing anyone because of going Second Session. This year there were tears about being away from home. This year there was some sadness and some second guessing.
I don’t usually miss her until the week she is supposed to return. This year I miss her right now. This year I keep looking online for that “real” smile – the one that is uninhibited and free and pure and happy, not just a smile for the camera. I haven’t seen it quite yet, but I know it’s coming.
This kid, she is brave. More so than I give her credit for sometimes. But this year, watching her work so hard at being brave on drop off day, I decided to be brave, too.
For 22 more days.