I’m thinking about camp. I just picked my daughter up and it was our first time. The first time for all of us…me, my husband, and our daughter. We were all tentative and excited and scared and hopeful. I have realized that one of the best things you can do to feel alive is to try something new. After camp, I think my daughter would agree with me.
I read a great column in the Tribune about camp. It is written by Garrison Keillor and you can find it at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0630-keillor-20100630,0,4665639.column.
He has a great line in there about watching parents drop off their kids on the bus to camp and that scene having more drama than a movie on the silver screen. But my favorite observation of his is this…he talks about the three different groups of people on the bus. The Defenseless (the children), the Clueless (the teenage camp counselors) and the Helpless (the parents). I love this. It’s so true. He points out that he has been all of these characters at one time in his life. Haven’t we all?
Even if we never went to camp, we can relate to the feeling of being the defenseless child. If we’ve never been a camp counselor, I don’t doubt that we have been the clueless teenager. And now, I find myself in the role of the helpless parent. No matter what I want, what I plan, what I hope for my child, I cannot make that happen for her. I cannot orchestrate friendship, laughter, lightness, faith and gratitude in her life. I cannot make her comfortable in her skin. I cannot save her.
Keillor ends his article asking God for mercy. I guess that’s what we all have to do. Because when we do that, we are not helpless, clueless or defenseless. We are wise. No, we cannot save our children…but we know who can.