This weeks word prompt was play. Fitting for my week.
"Bye Meredith." She responded by pushing me away.
She sat with a group of girls at the back of the bus.
Eagerly awaiting their arrival at summer camp.
I had to smile and laugh at her new phase of independence.
It was her first week away from us.
Her first week spending the night with someone other than her grandparents.
"How is she?" I asked the camp leader.
"She's doing great." was the quick reply.
And she did do great.
A couple days passed and we visited the camp.
Summer camp is a mix of sweat, messy cabins, non stop activities, loud voices, and ongoing laughter, worship services, climbing hills, the din of the cafeteria, and most of all day and into the night play.
After two counselors had to leave I arrived back to help out.
Kids everywhere were playing. Hard.
Small arms cradling bows and aiming arrows in archery class.
Splashing in the pool with balls during water games.
Little kids shooting out of water slides momentarily submerged in the wake of their splash.
Feet fast running bases.
Hands learning sign language.
Leaders and counselors working hard to keep up and play hard too.
Everywhere for a few hours every day kids played.
Like their own little dream world.
I enjoyed watching my oldest girl tell stories to her friends.
We walked back to the cabin in the late night stepping across shadowy grass and stumbling up the hilly stairs.
She laughed as her eyes rounded big to match the night's full moon.
She told everyone a horror story about killer clowns and I felt a smaller girl's hand thread through mine. I looked down and this little girl didn't say a word. Her huge brown eyes were big and filled with quiet fear. She kept walking through the dark trees fast.
Meredith was in her element trying best to spark a shiver of fear up the spine of all the little girl's walking fast now carrying their ice cream and slushies from the camp shop.
Trying to speak to the smaller girls fears I dismissed their stories of killer clowns to no avail.
By this time most of the girls were convinced that camp shadows were scary.
One of them shut me up by saying, "You haven't faced reality! They're real!"
The older ones eyes crinkling with mischief. The younger ones legs practically running to get home.
Another time I piled a group of girls in my car to get them back to the cabin in the rain.
"Mom turn up the radio!" Her hands spun the dial fast trying to find some bass pumping rap song to impress her friends with for the 2 minute car drive back to the cabin.
I watched how Meredith participated and skipped off to keep up with her friends and enjoy living in a world custom catered to kids for a week.
Gone was the shy girl that held back in front of others her age.
I smiled to see it and had to laugh when the camp leader told me that Meredith had announced to her, "I don't miss my mom this week."
Inwardly I thought, I guess that's ok since we have been together non stop for nine years now.
Kids are simple. Their souls are fed, grown, and built for play and through play.
It is their main job. Their first and foremost way to engage the world and learn from it.
This week it set the stage for learning about God as they huddled under a shade tree to escape the unrelenting sun and listen to their leader end each play- session with God's Word.
This week was exhausting, messy, loud, filled with Truth and most of all for them fun.
And it was fun, because they mostly just played....
|Meredith living the life ;)|
Baby boy exploring camp.