Tomorrow morning, my daughter returns from her first experience at sleep-away camp. She left with her church youth group last Sunday. And while those in charge advised against campers bringing telephones, I allowed her to take one and for that reason, I’ve heard from her a few times this week via text message. (Stuff like, “uh, I broke a bracket on my braces!”)
It’s been so quiet without her here. I spent the first two days giving her room a thorough cleaning and then organizing it (with her advanced knowledge and permission). In the past year she has turned away from her beloved stuff animals and fully embraced friends and everything that comes along with middle school. She’s outgrown not just her old clothes, but childhood itself. Time to put it away.
Now the relics of her childhood are stacked in the garage. Some will be packed away to save but lots of it will be sold in a garage sale. It seems another lifetime when I carefully packed a million stuffed animals into boxes when we moved but it was only four years ago. That little girl is gone and in her place I have an eye-rolling, opinionated almost-teenager. (It’s mostly awesome.)
When I try to imagine four years into the future, I’m blinded by the brightness. It’s like looking into the sun.
So I blink and look back. The past four years hover like a mirage, close but out of reach. Time is a fun-house mirror, always distorted.
All the more reason to focus on today. What else is there?