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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.