Well, this is it. The final year. Her final year at Herzl as a camper and my heart is breaking for her. Today we spent the entire day together. Making crepes and cookies, hoping that the sadness, that both of us know is inevitable, wouldn’t set in. Checking lists and shoving way too much stuff into bags, enough to send her off to college. T-shirts from by-gone years. Swimming suits that prove she has grown from a child to a young lady.
Gifts for friends and candle sharing she will be more than thrilled to give. Tomorrow we will spend another day. Ensuring she is absolutely ready. Making trips to Target and other T. J. Maxx for additional Shabbat outfits and random crap that she insists she needs and I know will come back barely used, if used at all but will have her name written in permanent marker, therefore rendering it unreturnable.
But to be more than honest, it is all worth it. Camp is worth it. Every penny spent. It IS worth it. The memories, the friendships, the love, the support, the encouragement she gains from loving, supportive mentors, guides, adults who get it.
That is more than gold. That is why I have insisted, more than anything, to send my daughter to Jewish summer camp. Because they get it. They get that parents are crazy. That life can suck. That shit is real. And that this is what she needs to feel normal in a world that gets perpetually more intense, pressure-filled, confusing, full of beauty, wonder, and amazement with every day.
Camp has provided both of us with a break. A break from each other, but also a break from the mundane into the mystery of The Divine and The Universe that we know cradles us but is completely out of our control.
So, we say and know we love each other through hugs and kisses at the Beth El busses, but then we leave our trust in Hashem for the rest. And that is love. Camp is truly a blessing and we are both more than grateful to have it.