Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s Off to Camp We Go…

At precisely the time that all of my friends who have been free of children all summer are welcoming their progeny home, I am preparing – both mentally and physically (as in packing…well, thinking about packing) – for Jessie’s departure tomorrow for one week of overnight camp.  I have reviewed the supply list and believe that just about everything on it is in our possession.  That said, no actual packing has occurred.

I will admit that I have been looking (perhaps even more) forward (than Jessie) to this upcoming week for the entirety of the summer.  I am thrilled at the thought of her being with a group of transgender kids in a setting which is the exact same as the camps that your children have enjoyed with the added bonus that she is among people who (in theory, anyway) are just like her.  The potential for growth, understanding and clarity is mind-boggling.

I will also admit that I am (more than) a little bit anxious about it.  “Why?”, you ask?  Well, for a few reasons:

  1. After the debacle of the camp last week, I have a heightened fear over how she is going to do.  I say that with the clear understanding that she did nothing egregious or particularly out of the ordinary which would have precipitated her untimely dismissal.  However, the fact that Camp #1 was so quick to determine their inability to cope has left me squeamish about all camps moving forward.  The longer I think about what went down there, the more of a “what the fuck” response I have.  Granted, Camp #2 is far better equipped and in tune to the nuances inherent in a child who has identified as transgender, but I contend that, in light of our most recent experience, my angst is appropriate.
  2. Aside from the occasional sleepover at Nanny’s or Uncle Robbie’s, Jessie has never been away from home for longer than one night.  This is a far cry from Harrison who got on a bus the summer after third grade not knowing a soul leaving for overnight camp where he stayed for the following five summers without ever looking back.  File under: how can two kids be born from the same parents and be so wildly different?
  3. I hate packing be it for me or for the kids: I famously either over- or under-pack which winds up sucking for someone.  As such, I have officially relegated this task to Rich as it simply feels too big for me to tackle.  One stinking week away and armed with a detailed list of what will be needed, yet I am somehow paralyzed at the thought.  Methinks that indicates something bigger than folding and placing clothing in a duffel bag, but whatever.
  4. It is going to be very strange to not have her around.  To know Jessie is to (eventually) love her, but she is definitely larger than life and has a way of creating and perpetuating a (ridiculously) high energy level.  I am curious (and by curious I mean anxious) as to how it will feel to have her gone.

We have been thinking, talking and healthily worrying about this week ever since the start of the year when we signed her up and sent in our check.  Now it is here.  Today’s plan is to run around and pick up a few of the items that she is missing (like, for example, rain boots which, if I will venture to guess, will never be worn either at camp or ever) and finalize the mental preparations for Jessie’s week at camp.

I have my fingers crossed that it will be nothing but a wonderful experience and that she will sail through socially, emotionally and physically.  Feel free to cross your fingers, too.

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23 thoughts on “Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s Off to Camp We Go…

  1. Good Luck! My friend Sue introduced me to your blog, back before it was more public, and it’s been quite the journey you are good enough to share with us. Here’s to more positive experiences for everyone along the way! 🙂

  2. Julie, you are an inspiration for me! You so candidly express what so many of us think but don’t necessarily let on to others. I think Jessie will have a GREAT week but I’m keeping my fingers crossed as well!

  3. I hope she is just beaming there. My 3 kids have LOVED camp (way more than I ever did, note to self, wish I had done it differently as a kid) and my hope is that she grooves and thrives just as they did. The sign is the tears when you arrive to pick them up, they are NOT tears of joy to see you. I will be seeing those tears tomorrow when I pick up my oldest who has been a CIT for 8 weeks. Enjoy your peace, please stay out of the ER.

  4. Packing? Packing?!? H is not sure she will go to camp next year. Packing is too much work…I would like to add that all she has done in regards to packing is bring dirty clothes to the laundry to be washed…

    I think there is a lot of stress going on for these kids (and yes their moms) going to camp for the first time but I believe from everything and everyone I have heard from that this camp will be a great experience for them. For one short week they will be like everyone else there. How amazing for them to have this opportunity for “normal”! We will worry, but I believe that all will be well for all of them (and hopefully they will be willing to pack to go again next year 🙂

    Maura

  5. 1. There will ALWAYS be angst! Sounds like a perfect first overnight camp situation though!
    2. LOL! I have a theory that first children are inherently easier so we are fooled into having more!
    3. Oy! My youngest daughter (13) just returned from 3 weeks of overnight camp. Ended up bring back more than she left with since sharing clothes seems to be the hip thing now. :-/
    4. Seems like your daughter and mine both have “ridiculously high energy levels!” See 3 above, and enjoy the blissful peace and quiet! =D

    Fingers crossed but I’m betting on a good experience for Jessie and some down time for you!

    Debby

  6. Yay Camp! I am wishing you both the very best for camp A. I dont think camp will be all that difficult once Jess gets into the swing of things. Bonus, she’ll be with her set, all those other kids that are just a cool as she is and I’m betting that it will take a month for her to come back down to earth afterwards.
    Just make sure to go out for that fine lobster dinner, you deserve it.

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