Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Wednesday Night Camp Curse...

...or the alternate title of "Even Grown Women Get Homesick at Camp"
Here is what I wrote in my journal last Wednesday night at camp.

"It's Wednesday night. I've been at camp for four days. I'm exhausted, hot, sticky, and stinky. To top it all off I just spent two hours at the Urgent Care with my daughter. She has pneumonia and 103 degree fever. She cannot stay at camp.

At first I felt sad that I would need to go home. I love camp. (Wait! Don't judge me yet.) Part of me needs this time for me. A time to be a leader and accomplish the goals and tasks for the week. It's good for my confidence and my ego when so many people are glad to see me. Hugs are never lacking. I feel needed and appreciated, and most of all--useful. (And yes, being a mom should feel the same way, but we all know most of the time we feel taken for granted.) However, it will be easiest for me to take K home. My two sons are at home with pneumonia as well, and my hubby is being the best mom he can while trying to work. (Did I mention he felt sick as well?)

I'm so tired I can't decide what I should do. There are responsibilities to pass off if I leave. The momentary feeling of being irreplaceable confuses me. Although I know that anyone can do the things I'm doing, my hubby says I should stay. Another leader reminds me she needs me, and another jumps at the chance to drive K home. I think she really needed an excuse to go home and take a real shower and sleep in a real bed before coming back in the morning.

So I caved. My daughter drives away and I stay behind. That's when it hits me. The best part about camp this year was being with my daughter. I cried for the next two hours. Grateful for the dark and chirping frogs and insects, I find a quiet spot to wait for the girls to finish their activity. My goal is simple--get my cry out so I can get back to work.

But the tears don't stop. I think of my family needing me and know I made the wrong choice. I miss the Super Dessert Bar. I watch four or five other small groups come out to cry and be comforted. I laugh through my tears and remember that it's Wednesday night.

HOMESICK NIGHT. Half way point and the night of the most tears and drama. This year I am no comfort to my girls as I hide and give way to my own homesickness. Later, I pull it together enough to return to the cabin and start working towards lights out (the only part of camp I don't like!). I think the girls instinctively knew that I needed something. Three or four asked me to braid their hair before bed. One spoke the truth when she said, "I know as long as you're braiding the lights will stay on" but it still helps me feel better. Doing motherly things.

Sometimes we think growing up means we are exempt from the emotions of our youth. However, we're just as susceptible to insecurity, doubt, fear, loneliness, and homesickness. The emotions are powerful because we understand the opposites--confidence, courage, friendship and the comfort of belonging.

I'm homesick for my bed, my shower, my kids laughter, my hubby's arms. The simple comfort of knowing I'm right where I belong. Home."

I promise to post some of the fun stories and pictures if I can get them soon. Other than that one night, I had a blast! There was this BLOB in the lake where I launched K into the air, a zipline, and lots of fun activities. I also learned a new dance I can use in a vlog if necessary. (Yes, you should run away screaming.)
 I have NO IDEA what that face is about. My camera didn't work (or barely worked) all week. So, you are stuck with the scary candid shots that I didn't know were being taken. Maybe I was practicing for halloween? Ooooo, I'm going to turn you to dust with my creepy eye stare...