Deep breaths. Deep breaths. In the chaos of the past ten months, I have repeated these words so many times. It’s a phrase I use with my own kids, myself, and Steve. When any of us starts to feel anxious or nervous or even when one of us is in the middle of tearful release, deep breathing brings focus back to what we can control. It might not solve the issue at hand, but it is a useful tool that helps ease the overwhelm.
This past Wednesday, I found myself needing more than deep breaths. I needed the connection of a friend. Who did I call? I called one of my best friends from summer camp. Trawick and I met in Dogwood Cabin when we were 10 years old - the same age that my oldest child will be when he goes back to camp this summer. She and I then proceeded to spend the next 10 summers deepening our friendship, playing and growing together at camp. Now we are both mothers and live far away from one another; yet, our friendship remains solid and true. Like all those years when we would return to one another at camp, we pick back up where we left off. We don’t miss a beat.
I have heard similar stories from other “camp” folks. Camp friendships are unique. They run deep and true and just a bit different than the ones at home. Because of the nature of residential camp, peer relationships are forged quickly and often intensely as we navigate our individuality away from the expectations of our family. Living together around the clock exposes more vulnerabilites than you might experience with your friends at home, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s often the foundation of a life-long friendship.
So, if you are like me and feeling unbalanced and overwhelmed right now with the state of our country, my advice would be to CALL A CAMP FRIEND. Check-in. Catch up on what’s been going on, how they are doing, maybe reminisce about “that one time at GRP”….laugh a bit. I’m willing to bet, it will lighten both of your loads just a bit.
Five months until camp and we meet again….