Everyone always says about parenting young children: “They grow up so quickly. Enjoy them.” And of course, it’s true. If it weren’t true, it wouldn’t have been said so many times as to have become a cliché.
So here we are, just over a week away from your leaving for your first summer of sleep away camp, and I’m looking at you as you sleep and I’m thinking “How did this happen? Weren’t you a baldy just five minutes ago? Didn’t we just potty train you? When did your chubby fingers become long and lean? When did you decide to stop wearing dresses and start wearing leggings? How is it that you’re suddenly only 11 inches shorter than I am? When did you start talking like a middle schooler and caring about your clothes? How is it that you have braces on your teeth, that you’re asking for a phone, that you want to text your friends and watch tv shows that I think are inappropriate? I’m not sure when all of this happened. You were a baby just a few weeks ago. Weren’t you?”
I know you’re going to love camp; you’re a born camper. You promise you’ll write us lots of letters and I hope that you do. But I also hope that you don’t. I hope that you’re having so much fun that you forget to write to us for weeks on end and have to be reminded to do so by your counselors. I know that you love us and that you won’t forget us while you’re away. I’m not worried about that.
But I feel sad when I think about waking up in the morning and seeing your bed empty. I don’t want to be sad because this is a happy time for you. And it’s a happy time for us, by extension. But we’re going to miss you. I miss you already, and you’re still here.
So let me soak up as much of you as I can over the next nine days. Humor me as I overwhelm you with kisses and hugs. Fill my ears with the sound of your laugh and fill my mind with images of your disarming smile. Don’t laugh at me when I cry as your bus pulls away next weekend. Because this time in your life…it’s a happy one for sure. But the passage of time? That’s another story completely.