Seasons and kids change as they will

A beautiful Midwestern morning. The temperature is tolerable, the grass is actually green from the rains.  Tomorrow PalKid leaves for summer camp. For two weeks. She’s excited and we’re excited for her. Oh, but we’ll miss her.  She’ll be far too busy to miss us, but this morning when I came back from my walk, I found her cuddled up against a sleeping MrsPal, holding on for dear life. And snoring.

Besides having fun, my biggest goal for her is to gain some independence.  She’s our only one. She’s used to having us just about any time she wants. We make sure she has plenty of play dates so that she can play with real kids (not just me) and so she can fight things out, learn that not getting her way can still lead to fun.

Of course there’s the part of me that doesn’t want her to change. Last night there was a huge thunderstorm. I lay in bed watching and listening, until one very loud clap. I immediately moved over in bed, and about four seconds later a little warm body jumped into the just vacated sliver of bed.

She won’t always be scared of thunderstorms. She won’t always come running for daddy. And that’s a good thing. Watching her grow, become independent, make friends we never expected, these are all joys too.

And during that first week of camp, she’ll have to learn to get along, learn that no one is going to pick up after her, and that not every meal can be raspberries and chicken nuggets. And that I won’t be there to help her brush her teeth every night.

But I have a little secret. Her second week, I’ll be living in the doctor’s cabin, keeping an eye on it all, albeit from an intentional distance. I’ll have a back row seat to watching her grow up a little. As long as she doesn’t notice me too much, it should be a blast.

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  1. Thanks. It’s been a month of bookends: it started with my mother’s (not unanticipated) death, and then last weekend my daughter (who just yesterday was PalKid’s age) was engaged to be married.
    Thanks for completing the set.

  2. Lynda M O

     /  July 28, 2012

    You’re rekindled memories of Girl Scout sleep-away camp… many moons have passed and a bowline unties as easily as way back then.

  3. Barbarella

     /  July 28, 2012

    Your entry made me cry. I miss those times so much. Then we had a pretty hellish seven years (which hasn’t completely ended–he put a hole in a wall during a visit a couple months ago). But there is definitely no way to force your children into being a paper doll of your creation. Nor would we want them to be, although it would certainly be easier. Our brilliant, magical, amazing son dropped out of college and has morphed himself by day into a manager at two different fast food places, by occasional weekend stints into the star, producer, author and performer of Dramatic Rock Opera Experiences complete with set changes, costumes, light displays, etc. We finally got to see one, and I overheard two girls who were watching the show, saying, “I would do ANYTHING to get in Starman’s pants!”

    Hey, I have been in Starman’s diapers! And it wasn’t always a pretty experience, believe me!

  4. I love your daddy stories.

    I let my youngest go to camp with her best friend when she was seven, because best friend’s daddy was going to be in the doctor’s cabin.

    Youngest is now 23, and I’m bursting with admiration for her many accomplishments.

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