Today we dropped off Caroline at sleep away camp for ten days.
I spent many, many wonderful summers at this very same camp.
We have spent many, many long months trying to decide if Caroline was ready for this adventure.
Unfortunately, we forgot to think about whether or not I was ready for this adventure.
Leading up to camp, I watched Caroline carefully for signs of anxiety, ready to change our plans at a moments notice. For all of time, Caroline’s anxiety has played out in her sleep (or lack thereof). She has continued to sleep beautifully. If Caroline expressed any concern, she did so as the super grown up girl she has become. A few times over the past few weeks, she’s said in a calm voice, “Mommy, I’m worried about sleep away camp.” We would then have a conversation about how normal it was to feel worried and all the things she could do at camp if she was sad and I wasn’t there to help. Then her worry would seem to disappear until our next conversation.
Somehow in the midst of all this, I forgot to ask myself how I was feeling. Maybe that’s why I was so surprised by today.
We kissed Caroline goodbye poolside. The goodbye was quick as I knew lingering would only make things worse, for her.
I guess lingering would have made it worse for me although I’m not sure how. I still find myself teary. I can’t stop texting my friend whose daughter is with Caroline, she and I comparing notes on how we’re coping. Tomorrow I’ll be able to see pictures on the camp website from today. My fingers and toes are crossed that there will be a picture of Caroline with a gigantic smile. Maybe then, I’ll be able to grin just a little bit…