Skip to main content

Dear Joshua,

Tomorrow morning you are going to camp. Fifth grade camp, that is. I know - weird! Up here in Michigan its something they do, send little 10 and 11 year old children off into the wild. Of course, the wild consists of a hotel-like lodge with air conditioning, a 24/7 mess hall and no spiders in the latrine. Because there is no latrine. There are private showers and toilets with running water. I think the only reason this is called camping is because it involves a sleeping bag.

We're supposed to send letters along with you. Letters that your 'camp' leaders will give you on the second and third day of your stay. We're only supposed to say uplifting, non-homesick promoting things in these letters. So, here on my blog that I know you won't read for a few years at least, I'm going to tell you all the things I'm not allowed to tell you in your letters from home.

I miss you. You're not even gone. In fact, you are playing right in front of me in the family room. You are wrestling with your sister Carly and generally annoying your father. It's the stuff good memories are made of. I know you will only be gone for a couple of days but my heart already thuds uncomfortably with your absence. I realize it doesn't make any sense to miss you before you are gone, but I can already feel the empty space you will leave. You make up so many of the happy moments of my day. I am in love with your goofy grin, your big brown eyes, your apple cheeks. I love you more than I ever thought I could love another person. You occupy a space in my heart that is yours alone and will always belong to you. I fear the day you flee my nest for good.

I'm proud of you. So very proud of the kindness, the empathy, the simplicity, the imaginative, the forgiving, the faithful way you live your life. I'm glad that you love to make people happy. I like to take some credit for the goodness in you, but the truth is most of it is just who you are. You came that way, all wrapped up in a good person package, and I realize how blessed I am by it.

I'm afraid for you. Afraid that people will take advantage of your faithfulness. Afraid that your heart will be broken. Afraid that you won't stand up for yourself. Afraid that you won't see it when people are making fun of you. Because you don't expect people to be mean. You think all people are good and kind, like you - you haven't learned otherwise yet. I hope you never do. I dread the day your innocence is broken.

I'm thinking of you. Some part of me is connected to you at every moment of every day. Now and then my heart stutters and stops when you are not home. Now and then my brain whizzes to a picture of your face. You will always belong to me, no matter the roads and courses you choose.

I can't wait until you get home. I'm already counting the moments.




Heather said…
Good times at 5th Grade camp. I remember it and all the drama that ensued. Hey, maybe they still do the 6th Grade trip to Carlsbad too. We were in tents there!

Popular posts from this blog

Dear Carly,

I assume that one day you will come to me wanting to know who you are, where you came from, where your other family is and why they gave you to us.  I offer you little bits of information already, but certainly not crumbs enough to satisfy the appetite.  Perhaps it won't matter to you.  I am assuming a lot, already, about how adoption will impact your life.

People often wonder why adoptive parents are hurt when their children seek out biological roots.  I have the answer, and it's very simple.  Adoption - at its core - makes us question the legality, authority, voracity, and validity of parenthood.  For most adoptive parents, first you must come to terms with an issue that strikes at the foundations of mortality: fertility.  From birth, most of us are driven to form families.  First we are nestlings, nurtured and weened and eventually taught to fly.  Then we are nest-builders, filling our lives with the stuff necessary to drive life forward.  Knowledge, safety, money, a sturdy …

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

You know when you see someone again and it's been, like, forever, and you're not really even sure that you're getting their name right and you wonder WHAT on EARTH they've done to their hair/face/body/children and you can't quite find the right words to fill the gap between time and space?
My second year of teaching is just beginning - and isn't that a wonder?  Last year...let's just say, we all survived.  Last year involved:
- Commuting home (2 hours, one way) almost every weekend - The kids and I here (in Espanola, where I teach) while Eric stayed in Edgewood - Putting our (still for sale) house on the market - Two semesters of Master's classes (what was I thinking??? on the up side, I only have 1 semester left and I am DONE.  D. O. N. E.) - Saturday's spent in professional development - My first ever "work trip" to San Diego 
And this year:
- Josh is a Senior (whuuuut!) - Carly started 5th grade - We all live here in Espanola (double WH…