Thursday, May 21, 2020

What makes you cry

I knew it was coming. But still, it was a shock to my system. The summer camp that Max and Sabrina attend—different locations of the same one—were cancelled yesterday morning. I cried when I told Dave. I emailed one of the camp directors and told him I'd cried. He said he cried, too. So then I cried some more.

The messages made my heart ache: "We had hoped and prayed not to have to write this message...." "With tears in our eyes and broken hearts, we announce the cancellation of all scheduled sessions.... " "This is a decision born from one of our most sacred and core values as an organization: the health and safety of our camp community...." "Words can't express the sadness of having to do this for the first time in the 70-year history of our organization...."

This would have been Max's fifth year in the program, and the first time it was going to happen for the full summer.  He has been going to various camps since 2011—that's where is he is above at age 8, the photo the camp sent me to stop me from freakout out because I was so worried about how he was doing I emailed incessantly. This would have been Sabrina's sixth summer at camp.

There were no tears on Max and Sabrina's end, only mine. Max immediately said: "Next year?"—so typical of him. He also asked if we could go to L.A. He's been connected with his fellow campers these past two months because Orlee, the awesome program director, has been doing Zoom calls. Sabrina was bummed—it would have been her sixth summer at camp—although last night her camp division did a Zoom meeting and it is possible there will be some virtual activities. It is also possible I will spend the entire summer arguing with her over why she can't go to Great Adventure on the like.

I cried for the lost chunks of their childhood and for all the lost time in their lives. The lost school interactions, sports teams and games, school events and parties, actual playdates and hangouts, going to movies and plays, simple pleasures like grabbing ice-cream with friends or cruising the mall. The loss of in-person therapy for Max. The loss of freedom and innocence. The loss of life as we knew it.

Like many, I've also cried over stories in the news and when the numbers hit awful milestones: 10,000 in the United States, dead; then 50,000; we're now rapidly heading toward 100,000. Worldwide, there have been 328,000 deaths from the coronavirus and five million cases. A few times in the last month, I've burst into tears for no reason; other friends say the same has happened to them.

I fully realize how fortunate our family is to be sheltering at home, healthfully. Not going to camp is far from tragic. Even if camp was happening, I probably wouldn't have sent them. Still: the reality sucks. And, so, I mourn this lost chunk of their childhood. And I mourn the loss of another opportunity for independence and socialization for Max. He hasn't just thrived when he's been away at camp, he has bloomed. I mourn the loss of Sabrina's independence this summer, too. (Also: mine.)

And I am praying I can keep them entertained this summer. Um. 

1 comment:

  1. My son's camp was cancelled for the summer as well. The decision was made just the other day. He's sad, but I believe it was the right decision (for this camp anyway) - Not a sleep-away, just a day camp, but I understand how you are feeling completely.


Thanks for sharing!

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