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Letting Go

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

We see our kids at close-range. This limited perspective oft-times prevents us from seeing their growth. We continue to see them as they were and and not as they are, placing outgrown limitations on them.

[See here for an earlier experience.]

Leaving one’s regular surroundings can provide situations to push our kids beyond their boundaries. It is all too easy to stay safe and snug in one’s comfort zone. But it’s our job to gently, but firmly, push them just past that line.

At yesterday’s breakfast in beautiful Napa), Poppyseed and Beernut finished long before me and the baby, and were getting antsy to return to the room. Beernut thought he needed a grown-up to accompany them back to the room. His younger sister thought she could go on her own. I wasn’t ready to leave and neither was Peach. So I gave the kids a key to the room and, knowing that the sitter was there to meet them, sent them on their way.

“Are you sure it’s OK to send us alone? I mean, we’re just kids.” Beernut’s eyes darted nervously around the room.

“You’re right,” I thought, “what am I thinking? They’re just little kids.” But they’re really not. I wasn’t sending them into the middle of the city on their own. Just about 20 yards. (Yes. I made up that number. You KNOW I have no concept of distance.)

“Yes, I am certain it’s OK. I am confidant that you two can make it back to the room safely,” I say in the hopes of convincing myself.


Fast forward to today. After breakfast, one of the moms on the medical staff invited Beernut to join some other staff kids who were playing on the mirpeset. Though initially reluctant, Beernut allowed himself to be convinced to join in the fun.

“I’ll come back to check on you in 30 minutes when my meeting is over,” I said.

Ever known a meeting with a rabbi to end on time? Imagine a meeting made up of rabbis. Forty-five minutes later, I return to the mirpeset and my kid is nowhere in sight. The other kids have no idea where he is. I hike — not a sarcastic euphemism because it really is an uphill hike — back to my room and Beernut is happily cavorting with his sister. I was late so he found his own way back!

Who is this kid?

We drive over to the Boys’ Village and unload his stuff. He meets his madrichim and picks a bunk. One of his madrichim self-identifies as an RK and they share a knowing glance. A point of commonality has been established.

At lunch, he asks if he can sit with his friends. And please, will I “make certain that Poppyseed doesn’t bother us?”

Two hours later, I drop him off. He turns to hug me. Give a fake cry and laughes. And walks away.

And I let go…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 13 August 2008 6:41 pm

    good for you:-) what a sweet and wonderful story of camp life!!!

  2. Wednesday, 13 August 2008 7:46 pm

    You didn’t just give the kids the keys to the room. You gave them the gift of independence. That’s a big thing!

  3. Monday, 18 August 2008 8:53 pm

    Lovely story

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