Beautiful you, beautiful daughter

by

I wake up in the morning with excitement,

and a pit in my stomach.

You’re going away to camp for the weekend–the whole weekend–for the first time.

I know you’re almost thirteen and I know you’re going away with your youth group and closest friends,

but I also know how much I’m going to miss you.

I try to act nonchalant as you pack. I want you to know how happy I am for you, and how much fun I know you’ll have.

But that doesn’t stop me from slipping a note in your bag:

Have a great time, laugh hard, seek God, and make memories. I love you, Mommy.

We drive to church to drop you off and I swallow the lump in my throat as I pull into the parking lot and see the bus waiting.

“Don’t cry,” you say, smiling.

You know me too well.

I promise not to.

And I don’t, at least not in front of you.

I think about you all weekend, missing your energy and your singing around the house. Many times, I wish I could call you or text you. Many times I stop what I’m doing and pray for you–that you’re having an amazing time.

Sunday finally comes

and I pick you up

and it feels like I haven’t hugged you in a month.

I smile and laugh as you chatter the whole way home about the campfire and the view from your cabin porch and how moths flew in the window and how the camp food actually tasted good.

 

My daughter and her friends on their cabin porch at camp.

 

And I smile the next morning when I go into your room to wake you up for school and find you reading your Bible.

It’s hard to see you grow up,

but it’s wonderful too.

It’s hard to let you go,

but it’s amazing to see you spread your wings

and stake your ground

and become more of you.

Beautiful you,

beautiful daughter.