She made it.
Indigo made it through her first week of camp without issue. She has yet to stop talking about it. When I came down the hill, she ran to me, gave me a huge hug and started crying. I was startled by the reaction. My first response was “oh, honey, didn’t you have a good time??” In my head, I said “fuck.” My hopes were for not, or so I thought. But she reassured me she had a great time – she loved camp. She loved her friends/cabin-mates. She loved her counselor. She loved the week so much that she was both happy and sad to leave. So sad that she started crying – hating to say that final goodbye to her friends – her close friends who she did everything with for a week.
Her counselor came up to me and started gushing about Indigo. Not enough kind things could be said. She was a kind person to everyone – cared a lot for her friends – helped anyone who needed it – and got up every morning at 6am to go swimming. Her counselor loved the fact that every kid in the camp had the option, yet Indigo and her friend were the only two who did it all week. We got her stuff together, I put on her huge backpack that was stuffed full, and we hiked up to her cabin so I could see it. Then we hiked back the car. Each counselor she knew by name and all gushed about Indigo and gave her kind words of good bye. All the way home, she talked non-stop, sang me her favorite songs, and recited the skits. Indigo found friendship. She found she was a leader. She found she could be her quirky self, and people would love her for it – people outside of her family would love her for it. What a fucking win!
All day, she has been weepy. In the car to my in-laws’ house, she got weepy again retelling to DJ a story about camp. DJ said to her, like a perfect big sister, that unlike friends she has at school, these friends were more special. You saw them at their best, at their worst, you supported each other, you lived with each other, you accomplished things together. They are better friends than any you have ever had – of course, she explained, you are sad – it IS sad to leave them all again. Wise words for a 13 year old.
Indigo got a whole 4 hours at home. She showered, I did her laundry, then she was off to the birthday party with DJ. Then, I fed them and dropped them off at their grandparent’s house for their flight to San Diego tomorrow. Both girls were happy to be going on their next adventure, yet sad that they were leaving so soon. I feel their pain. 10 hours in the car over the last 24hrs or so – I know how it is not to exhale. My inability to exhale last weekend led to a crazy week and an even crazier Wednesday night.
But, I got to spend two evenings in a row with SB. Then, I took my Daddy to my parents’ house where he met my Dad. I’m not out to them as poly, but introduced him as a friend who did not want me to drive alone so came along to keep me company. Not untrue at all. It was funny to see them together – listen to them together tease DJ about her imaginary chickens. Then on the way home, he kept me balanced. He knew when I was getting stressed and gave me the kind words and touch that allowed me to relax as I was at the end of my rope and ready to just be done already.
I guess I should just be happy he didn’t poke my bruises (the bruises he gave me the night before) instead. Grin!
So tomorrow I get to sleep in. I get to not be awoken by an alarm. I get to not worry about being somewhere or missing something. I get to exhale. I need to exhale.
Maybe I’ll even play my ukulele too. That would rock. I went to the store tonight to get what I needed – breakfast, lunch, something to unwind with tonight. Ahh…
I love my family. I hope they continue to enjoy their adventure. I am now hoping I can have my own adventure.
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Camp is an amazing thing. It was an enourmous part of my life from 4th grade through college; from camper to counselor. It is where I met my wife and learned both how to be an adult and how to be a child. I am so pleased Indigo had this opportunity and found the same joy in it as I knew she could. Camp is an experience she will hold close to her forever; it is the same effect of a chisel in rock as it carves out the person she will become.