Friday, July 25, 2008
The Campout Information Packet
A week from tomorrow our family leaves for a one-week camping trip with approximately 80 other adoptive families. We’ve been going on this trip since 1995, missing only one year – an omission my children will never let me forget. Last weekend the anticipated campout information packet arrived in the mail. When I was little, I’d watch for the Sears Roebuck catalog to arrive. I would spend hours perusing those catalogs, mentally redecorating my room with the items from the home section, picking out new outfits and new shoes. The reality was that our limited funds meant that very little was ever ordered from the catalog, but the dreaming was wonderful nevertheless. My children take the campout information packet and look through it in the same way. Where will we be camped? Who will be our neighbors? What is the schedule of events? Which events do I want to make sure not to miss? Yesterday, we went out to do errands and I told my kids to bring along something to keep them busy. What did they bring? The campout information packet. They went through the list of family names, remembering which children went with which family. They asked about the new names on the list. Asking if I know these people and what ages are their children. The difference between my catalog perusing and their campout information packet scanning is that when I looked at the catalog I was dreaming. I was dreaming of the red velvet bedroom drapes that I would never have. I was dreaming of the wardrobe full of beautiful dresses that would never be mine. My children are reminiscing about past campouts, but they, too, are dreaming. They are dreaming of the friendships they’ll renew and the new friends to be made. They are dreaming of the fun they’ll have in an environment that is different from home, but that is familiar from past trips. The difference is that a week from tomorrow, their dreams will come true – mine took slightly longer.