Sunday Post 127: Through Their Eyes

For the past three years I have dreaded dropping my kids off at sleepover camp.  In fact, when Michelle said she just wanted to attend a one week camp this year, I jumped on board fast!

“That is fine with me!  Maybe Daddy and Michelle can do a special little trip while your sisters head off for a month.”  That’ll fix ’em.  I’ll take her to Disney World – we’ll see what they choose next year.

Lisa went to Camp Seafarer as a kid, and I work for the organization that owns the camps.  I know it’s a great experience in so many ways – independence, leadership development, new friendships – but four weeks away is a long, long time.  The house just seems so quiet and empty with them gone.

But this year, something was different.  For the first time since Lisa died, I was able to see through their eyes.  Instead of focusing on what I was going to miss, I was able to see what they were going to gain.  They were so excited!  They talked about friends they couldn’t wait to see, camp songs they wanted to sing and the skills they were going to master before coming back home.

DJ is a counselor in training this year and was fortunate to be chosen to work on her favorite activity, sailing.  Stephanie ensures me that she will achieve her Sunfish Master, a difficult certification for a kid who never sailed until last summer.

Both planned their outfits and shopped for their needed camp items.  They were quite independent in their quest to prepare for their journey.

And their dad, for the first time since I’ve been in charge of dropping them off on my own, was able to look beyond the dread 26 quiet nights and instead live vicariously through their joy.  My excitement for them took away almost all of my angst.

I wish I’d do a better job of stepping back and putting myself in their shoes.  Too often over the past three years I’ve been so wrapped up in my own selfish thoughts that I’ve missed seeing and celebrating the happiness of those around me.

I hope I’m beginning to make that transition – from selfishness to selflessness.  Check with me in three more weeks, I should know by then.

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6 Comments

  1. Miriam

     /  July 21, 2013

    I’m always inspired by your posts. What a great way to look at it. And I’ve also had to learn that my kids need to spread their wings as they get older- they’re not thinking about me nearly as much as I’m thinking about them 🙂

    Reply
  2. Wow, 26 days, that is a long time but you should take advantage of this down time. Do something you have been meaning to do, whether it’s sorting clothes, changing the oil, fixing that____, calling some friends and family, maybe even having a dinner out with a sibling. Son’t let those 26 days pass without accomplishing something, Your kids will be so proud of you.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 24, 2013

      I’ve already cleaned out all of the drawers in my bathroom!

      Reply
  3. So glad they’re at SF. As you know, it’s the “best camp of all,” and it was such a transformative place for me! One of my daughters is there at the lake this summer. 🙂 Good for you for celebrating!

    Reply

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