For five years, summer camp through the Fishers Parks and Rec Department has been a part of our lives. In that very first summer that we lived here, those few hours when Elena was in camp just down the road gave me a chance to finally unpack those last boxes. In the next summer, those few hours when Elena was constructing ants on a log or lobbing water balloons gave my ginormous pregnant body a respite from the heat and a chance to nap on the couch.
When Eli was less than a week old, his first outing was taking Elena to camp. I lugged him along in his infant car seat while Elena skipped ahead. It was the beginning of many years of him dutifully following along as we dropped Elena off here and there for her many adventures and activities. Always, always tagging along, never big enough or quite old enough.
The next summer I carried all 22 pounds of not-yet-walking Eli into and out of camp. The last two summers he’s followed us in on his own two feet, and many times he followed me out, alone, and crying about not being big enough.
Yesterday, it was finally Eli’s turn. For a boy who cried through an entire year of preschool drop-off, he was amazingly tear-free and non-clingy when it came time for me to leave him. This was camp. This was different.
On Sunday evening I tucked him in and said, “Guess what tomorrow is, buddy? Your first day of camp!”
“I can’t believe it, mama!”
Neither can I, really.