This past weekend I took my 5th annual road trip to North Carolina to drop off one or both of my girls at camp. In the past I looked forward to the trip. My daughter's excitement at her return to the camp that she loves so much is infectious and I would get swept up in it.
This year I felt a bit of ambivalence about their departure for camp. Partly it's the money. Sending a child to sleep away camp is an expensive proposition and it becomes more so when there are 2. Part of my unease comes from recent events which have demonstrated just how fast time flies. People come and go and as DQ reached milestones in her life I am reminded on a daily basis of how she is leaving me little by little. I asked myself over and over - why would I willingly give up some of my precious time with her?
So this weekend we set out for North Carolina, just three girls in a car. As I drove we sang along with the radio, we took in the gorgeous vista and discussed friends at home and at camp. On Saturday night we stumbled upon a classic car show where we got up close and personal with some really beautiful motor vehicles. The owners of the Ford Fairlane Skyline were so charmed by my Stinkerbelle that they demonstrated how the roof goes up and down. Then we went to the drive in where we enjoyed movies under the stars with thescent of burning wood in the air. I hope that someday the memory of the things we saw on this road trip, and those before it are the kind that they'll share someday with their own children.
Sunday night we attended the back to camp gathering. As we had in past years, we heard about parents of current campers who attended when they were young. Some even met their spouse at camp. One family came all the way from Arizona! Sitting there I was amazed once again at the dedication all of these parents and children felt for the camp and how strong their good memories must be.
When we take our children to splash in the waves at the beach or to an amusement park with their cousins we are buidling memories. When we fill the house with family and friends on a holiday or when I turn up the music loud and dance with my girls in the kitchen at home I am buildIng memories. When my girls are part of the mad dash for the bunks on opening day at camp they are building memories.
This is why I don't mind the 9 hour drive home after dropping my girls off. I know that their camp has inspired many in the past and I hope that they too will return home with the kind of happy memories that they will carry with them long into the future no matter where they go. Besides, I get to enjoy the scenery along the way.
Jul 16, 2008