You may remember last year, I made Calvin a little letter satchel for holding his camp letters both written and received, an address book, stamps, pens and a family photo tucked discreetly in there too. Ezra's this year was made from the Gratitude Wrap pattern (in a favorite vintage yellow print) and packed just the same.
But did I ever tell you what happened last year? I don't think I did. After so carefully going over the little satchel with Calvin to make sure he knew how and where to write and stamp, and on and on...we missed one critical piece of instruction. WRITE HOME. We waited. And waited. Day after day after day after day.... each letter to him increasing in pitch with our "we hope you're having fun! Are you okay??" line of questioning until finally, this Mama could take it no longer. And while Steve looked on half to giggle at me and half because he was starting to worry too, I called the camp director. Yes, yes...I was that Mom. I haven't heard from my son. Is he okay? Can you just check on him? I'm worried. And, well...of course he was fine. He was having the time of his life, and just so busy having fun that he hadn't had time, hadn't thought that we might be worried about him. The letters started coming after that. Not a lot of letters followed, but not a worry...all I needed was that one. That ONE letter that said, "I'm okay, Mom."
Lessons learned and applied then to the children that follow. This year, alongside the instructions to please do put sunscreen on every day, and be helpful to your brother, and have so much fun, and this is where the stamps go...I added one more. And I made it a requirement (the parents who pay the bill can do that, we told them). Just send us one postcard! And with a bit of silliness, I crafted the very postcard they can send - pre-stamped, pre-addressed, pre-written, even. All they need to do is check a box, and put in the mail. Hardly a distraction at all to all the fun they'll be having, right? A simple little Mama courtesy that will be much anticipated on this end.
Of course, I'd love to hear more. Are they making friends? Did they pass the swim test? What activities are they signed up for? How are their counselors? And what about all that slow dancing at the dance? Are they having fun? But I think I know the answers to most of those questions, knowing these confident, happy boys of mine as I do. They'll tell me more when they get home, surely. And the rest - well, the rest is theirs to know and experience and share as they like or not, for that's what the growing up that they're doing is all about. This time is theirs.
(Mama just needs that one postcard, please.)