Hello mother, hello father…

Another camp drop off and pick up season is complete.  For 7 years we’ve left one or two kids for a week at Kanakuk camps in southern Missouri.  This year we did two separate weeks because God forbid the third princess be without BOTH of her big sisters for an ENTIRE week.  She simply couldn’t BEAR IT…plus we have to parent a lot harder when they’re gone so I will admit to some selfishness with this decision.  I liked the opportunity to send them separately but the 3 hour drive to and from camp three weeks in a row slightly dampened the enjoyment.

From the minute I walk into this camp, my eyes fill with tears and I fight off a cry fest the entire time.  Everyone knows I’m a sucker for a happy cry.  From Mickey Mouse to Lee Greenwood on the 4th of July– happy and joyous things make me cry just as much as the somber things.  This place is so full of energy and goodness that I’m in a perpetual state of swallowing a lump in my throat.

Sometimes my tears get mixed up with some giggles over the Texas mamas who report to camp in dresses, tall wedge sandals that wobble on the gravel and a full face of make up.  I’m just ever-so-slightly less fancy in my t-shirt and running shorts.  My CAMP make-up regime is maxed out with moisturizer but there’s no shame from me to you Texas moms–you do your hair spray, mascara and lipstick, sisters.  We all gotta be us.

Drop off day is a frenzy of situating our camper, making beds as well as a FAST exit so my kids can start bonding with their bunkmates. In our experience, lingering tends to build anxiety with our spawn so we zip out, tout suite.

Pick up day is a bit longer.  First we go to our daughter’s tee-pee where we get to be reunited with her after a long week away.  The counselors do a little presentation for each kid and you get the pleasure of seeing how your child has made a new pack of friends that she loves after only a week. Then, you’re directed to the ALL CAMP meeting.

I gotta be honest.  I DETEST the ALL CAMP meeting.

I don’t know why…maybe because I’ve heard it for 7 years in a row or maybe I’m just ready to get my kids in the car to start hearing the stories but I BEG my kids to skip it every year and they rarely let me.  This year was no exception.

Although this year the first kid’s pick-up had a twist.  It was EXCEPTIONALLY HOT on pick-up day.  Here’s the set up for this meeting…


camp meeting 8


About 5 minutes in I turned to Jason who looked back at me and I give him a stare that said…

“I’m gonna have to get up and walk around.”

Then he looked at me with a look of utter judgment that said…

“Are you being serious?  They are taking time to explain the spiritual direction they gave our child this week AND they’re providing us with some tips on how to further their Christian development and you just can’t take the heat for a FEW MINUTES?”

So I opened my eyes very widely and shot him a look back that I know he accurately interpreted as…

“Jason, it is as hot as the SUN where I am sitting and if my internal organs start to liquify, as I SINCERELY BELIEVE they are moments away from doing, then I will be of no use to ANYONE.  An overheated mother who has SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTED is going to be USELESS to lead any of her children on a road to discipleship.”

And then he shook his head and rolled his eyes and silently spat something about my extreme propensity for melodrama and how he wishes I wouldn’t use phrases like “road to discipleship” just to get out of things.

So obviously we were on the same page regarding my need to get up.

After the simple act of walking generated enough of a breeze to cool my core temperature to what I am certain is just below that of molten lava, I was again overtaken with the complete utopia that is Kanakuk camp.

I also decided that at the next week’s pick up we WERE NOT staying for the All-Camp meeting.

Which makes sense that when I picked up the next daughter her first words were…”PLEASE CAN WE STAY????” I sighed and said yes…and simultaneously started looking for ice to pack around my waist to preserve my organs.

Sometimes the “road to discipleship” is a heated one.

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