Point of No Return

This is it. It’s payday. The day planned months in advance… the day we cash in our lottery ticket and send all four boys to camp:

SAME PLACE: SAME TIME.

The packing stage went on for days. The process was more like doing one of those tedious puzzles where you slide the pieces around, up and down — you get one section done, and then you mess that one up while you’re working on another section.

Just to recap the entire painful experience, it pretty much went like this:

  1. Print packing list.
  2. Passed it around… everyone read it.
  3. Lost packing list. Print another one. Handed lists to boys.
  4. Boys dumped contents of dresser draws into bags. (After fights about who was carrying which bag.)
  5. Loaded bags again with new supplies.
  6. Checked bags. Found socks thrown in as singles; the numbers were right on boxers, t-shrts and shorts — but utter chaos behind the zipper.
  7. Began “make a duct tape luggage tag” craft. Ended with slapping a piece of duct tape across every bag and using a Sharpie for names and phone numbers.
  8. Found more stuff missing from the list.
  9. Back to Target. (Watch Batman movie in between trips – which also took forever, leaving us all frustrated.)
  10. Stuffed bags again.
  11. Found loose items throughout the house that were supposed to be in bags.
  12. Packed car, so we’d be all ready in the morning… but then, they unpacked the car, because they needed their pillows, of course… and this.. and that.

Finally… you just have to trust that whatever is missing – they’ll figure out how to survive, eventually — because now it’s time to leave.

The check-in process was a bit overwhelming… lots of questions, lots of forms, lots of cheering from the camp counselors the minute we arrived… passing out popsicles to us all while we waited in lines.

Once the boys saw the slide,

hovering in the background in the midst of those trees, they all started some

sort of silent dreaming about the future experience there. They couldn’t wait to ditch us and jump on the big Fire Truck so they could get started with their adventure.


The packing experience, and the check-in chaos gave me so little time to wonder just how quiet the house would be when we finally returned home without them.

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