Monday, June 24, 2013



Ever since I signed Zozer up for Girl Scout camp with her fellow Brownie months ago, I've been excited for her to go. Our She & Me camp last weekend was the perfect intro, and having her attend her first "solo" overnighter with a friend was reassuring. We packed this morning and talked about all the fun she'll have. Then we all loaded up in our friends' minivan for the hour-plus drive to the camp. (Our friends decorated their van with drawings and fun slogans on the windows for today's special delivery. The photo today is a close-up of their art.)

Once there we got the girls signed in and through their health screening. Then, as we were walking them to their swim test, we came to The Goodbye Tree.

Which is a giant oak tree with counselors there who ensure that the campers continue on after saying goodbye to their families.

Which is when I started to feel sick to my stomach.

I faked it. Put on a happy face and gave hugs and kisses and told her I'd see her Tuesday afternoon. Then stood there and felt like vomiting while she happily trooped away, swim suit and beach towel and flip flops in hand.

We delivered the rest of her gear to her unit, and I set up her sleeping bag and tucked Hootie in to await her return. We then stopped at the mail desk on the way out and wrote a few camp grams to be delivered tomorrow and Tuesday. (Mail at camp! Yay!)

Then we left and I managed to hold it together in front of our friends until they dropped us off at home.

I've pretty much been crying ever since.

This is ridiculous. I've spent nights away from her many times. She's spent nights away from home many times. Why is this different?

Because she isn't with family.
Because she's over an hour away.
Because she's in a place I don't know.
Because she's CAMPING, for crying out loud.

I tackled the storage room in the basement to try to distract myself. It has needed attention since we cleaned out the garage. I set up shelves and put things away all neat and orderly like.

Then I cried some more and popped some Tums.

M was a huge source of comfort, offering lots of hugs and reassurances that she's fine, and having a blast. I know he's's ME who is having the hard time! I'm glad he was here. I'd be inconsolable without him. He reminded me that it's a good thing that we have raised a daughter who is capable of exploring new places and is open to new experiences. He's right, of course. I'm super proud of her.

What's really, really cool in all this is that he's seeing how much she loves Girl Scouts and the GS camp experience. He heard all about our great time at She & Me, and watched her get excited about this trip. He saw the awesome facilities at the camp (which is a different one than last week), and tonight we registered Zoe and her father to attend the Girl Scouts Just The Two of Us Camp, which is for daddies and daughters.

We are a Girl Scout family. Which makes me happy. Not as happy as I'll be when I get my baby back Tuesday afternoon, but happy.

(This experience leads me to believe that I'll no longer be encouraging her to attend any university she likes, but will insist that she stay local and never, ever leave home. Mommy will need Prozac or Valium if she chooses otherwise.)


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