Last week I was afraid I had been ripped off because it was too busy a week to be a summer week. I took the kids to a VBS at a friend’s church, prepared for my first-ever sermon (no biggie), and I had to get Nolan to camp which turned out to be drama. I had written a sappy reflection about letting him fly, and when he woke up the next morning he hugged me tightly and told me it had to last me four days. Awwwww. Everyone was in such a good mood. Nolan was all eager and brotherly and in a super old voice was like ‘you guys can play with my toys while I’m gone.’ Zachary was funny and easy. Josiah was pensive and obedient. We drove the 30 minute drive to the camp and as I pulled up I thought ‘I don’t remember specifically what time registration begins.’
‘Hi Logan’ I call to a counselor I know, who is spraying out a bucket. Not sure how she is managing that with the swarm of kids that should be rushing the front door. ‘What time does registration begin?’
‘Oh, Hi Christi Anna. It’s in 6 hours.’
How did I miss that? I know how.
There are too many papers in my life. There are reports cards, end of year projects, mail, bills, cards, crafts, permission slips, flyers, registration forms….UGH. Registration forms. Should have looked at those. I did fill out the behavior policy form, the I-will-not-sue-you-no matter-what-happens-to-my-child form, and even retrieved from the doctor the my-child-has-had-all-his-shots form, but somehow tucked between the sample daily schedule and the adventure awaits section, I missed the registration information….
Deep breath in. Irritation with self out. No problem. We will resume with our day. Grocery. Pick up more kids. Unload groceries. Pool for 3 hours. Return extra kids to rightful owner. Back to camp.
Enter > worst time of day for my kids. 4pm.
Zachary walked through the camp screaming “I HATE this home!!!! I want MY HOME!!!! I’m so TIRED!!!” Josiah was frustrated with Nolan because he had agreed to allow Nolan to borrow a multi-colored pen, which he was now regretting. He let me know this by standing in front of me while I took each step. He was standing and I was walking, all the way to Nolan’s cabin. Nolan was pushing his luck with asserting his independence and dropping things everywhere. He had packed 23 books, and his suitcase was at least 87 pounds. And it was 7 million degrees inside that cabin. I couldn’t wait to leave. I had no problem dropping him off.
Love you. Bye.
When we picked him up on Saturday morning, his voice was hoarse from exhaustion. He told me that he was only exhausted the last 3 days…(of a 4 day camp). That camp has accomplished what no one else in the history of Nolan has accomplished. They wore him slap out. And I think they accomplished something else.
“WE STAYED UP TIL 11:30 IN THE NIGHT WORSHIPPING GOD!!!!” was one of the first things he squeaked out. He really was hoarse. “We went deep in the woods and talked about God and made a cross out of candles!!”
Try not to cry in front of his friends. Try not to laugh at how precious that is. Try not to worry about the fact that he could have started a forest fire and Smokey the bear would be mortified if he knew this was happening on a regular basis.
‘That’s awesome buddy!’ I cooly reply. Secretly exhilarated with the seed that I know has been planted. Secretly believing that this experience has enriched him in a way that I could not. Secretly knowing the value of him spending time with those counselors, who might as well be wearing capes for spending their summers the way they are.
On the way home I sat beside him in the back of the van, and we talked all the way home.
As he napped that afternoon, yes he napped….he was so tired, I thought about my role in cultivating that seed which has been planted. I thought about how I needed to be sure to tend to the soil. I thought about how I should nurture it and water it and fertilize it. And I thought about how much I love the body of Christ. Because I know I can’t plant every single seed of his faith. I know to raise up my boys it takes a whole entire body of believers.
I know God is faithful. I am just so deeply grateful for those camp workers who dedicate their hot Carolina summers to doing their part. May the seeds they plant be ever fruitful.
Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown….
Let it be so.