It’s not the parting so much for me. No, I can handle that. Why, I wonder? Is it the promise of a reunion? Is it the rush and distraction that parting ways usually accompanies? Is it that the one you are parting with is not yet gone, and the ache in your heart is still unknown?
That sounds like a sad KyXy song.
We were one less this week. I brushed one less head of hair. I hard-boiled one less egg. I packed one less lunch. I snuggled one less sweet girl.
Our house was sad. Unfamiliar. Quiet. Reserved.
We were all lost. Like we were missing a limb. It wasn’t right. And it felt horrible.
On Tuesday this week we woke early. We shoved insane amounts of clothing into a duffle bag. We rolled up a sleeping bag and packed a day bag. And we took our middle baby to camp =(
Now the good bye, like I said, was easy. We got to school and Chris set out to help the men folk cram luggage for 148 kids into a space that could accommodate 90. A checklist was shoved into my hands and I took attendance. Everything was busy. No time for sadness to sink in. Before I knew it my little pup was on a bus pulling away from me for her first ever multiple night stay away from home.
I found myself randomly checking the weather in Julian. Standing in her room and smelling her clothes. Looking at old pictures. And on a few shameful occasions standing outside staring at the night sky and singing “Somewhere out there”.
It was a dark week in the Lee house.
That first night I woke Chris up no fewer than 5 times.
Do you think she is scared? Do you think she needs us? Who will tuck her in? Who will snuggle her? Who will pinch her checks? Why did we start her in school so early? She’s only just ten…lets go get her.
BUT THEN---Friday came!!!!!!!!!
This, as proven with her older sister, would be my hardest day. Buses were due to arrive around 1.
I got there at 11:50
I couldn’t sit here. I was going crazy.
I was nervous. Excited. Emotional. Scared.
That last one? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that one of her classmates told me as they were boarding the bus “we’re leaving girls and coming back women.”
Would she be excited to see me?
I saw a bus upon arrival…my heart stopped.
It was just the one with all the luggage.
I jumped on board and started helping unload.
Then I saw my baby’s bag.
One step closer.
I could almost smell her!
About ten minutes later, as my heart literally was jumping out of my body and my eyes were filling with tears, the buses pulled up.
I couldn’t see shit in those things. Her teacher got out of the last one and started wrangling kids out. I looked for the familiar faces of her friends. I finally locked eyes with her teacher and she said she’s on the first bus. I spotted her best friend and knew she wouldn’t be far behind……and then I ran. Fast. And grabbed her and hugged her and cried and cried and cried. And then we walked toward the car and I grabbed her again and cried and cried and cried.
Then we drove straight home where, now that her friends weren’t around, she could jump up into my arms and I cried and cried and cried.
She looked skinnier (hated camp food). Taller. Happy. And thankfully still like my little puppper nut that she is. Not the woman I was afraid they were going to make her in those 4 days. ;)
And she had fun. She wouldn’t stop talking. She loved it. Didn’t want to leave. And she missed me. Missed us all.
But then the best part came….reuniting sisters.
These scenes will probably be the best ,most vivid memories in my mind long into my life.
Our littlest stinker was first to be picked up. We were walking across the park and the bell had just rung.
Finally she emerges from the school…their eyes meet. And they start running. Full speed. I couldn’t keep up. And when they met they hugged so tight and screamed so loud.
Then our oldest came home. More running and screaming and jumping and hugging. And they immediately started comparing camp notes, camp songs, and camp skits.
They haven’t stopped eating. They haven’t stopped talking. They haven’t stopped playing. And I’m sure soon enough they won’t stop fighting.
But it’s ok.
Because I haven’t stopped smiling.