The kids are at at a day camp on the lake this week. They've spent their days canoeing, kayaking, swimming, tubing, and doing archery. When I pick them up, they can't tell me about their adventures fast enough. We've had to resort to a strict taking turns system during the car ride home. They can each tell one part of their day and cannot interrupt when it's the other's turn. This only kinda works.
On the first day of camp the kids have to pass a deep water swim test to ensure they will not drown while scaling the blob or jumping off the high dive. Fair enough. I absolutely appreciate the commitment to safety. I knew Alex would pass the test. She's a strong and fearless swimmer. I was unsure about Caleb.
During the car ride home on the first day, I learned that Alex passed with flying colors and Caleb did not. He had to wear a humiliating Coast Guard approved orange life jacket in order to swim. He actually didn't use the word, "humiliating." He actually didn't seem to mind that much. I, however, minded a great deal. I didn't want him to feel "little" or left out or marginalized in any way. I didn't want him to get made fun of etc.....
It took everything in me to just say,
"Well, buddy, maybe you can try again tomorrow" instead of saying what was actually going through my mind, "Oh, you poor thing. Are you OK? Can mommy help? Should I talk to the lifeguard for you? I can call the camp if you want and fix it for you!"
My first instinct was to try and save him, to spare him any hardship. Then, I realized that you gotta let your kids do life. They have to fail sometimes in order to know what success is. We drove home talking about everything else he had done that day.
The next day, when I picked him up, I noticed he was wearing a green bracelet on his wrist. He bounded up to the car, squealing,
"Mama, I passed the test, I passed the test!!!"
His counselor, Lollipop, came over with him and said,
"It was touch and go for a while there. Caleb didn't want to try again at first. Then, Frisbee (another counselor) and I asked him if he wanted us to pray for him. So, we prayed with him that God would give him courage. Then, Caleb hopped in and passed with flying colors."
Upon hearing this news, I immediately started crying. Lollipop and Frisbee probably thought I was a little nuts. I drove home (kids excitedly taking turns chattering in the background) thanking God that he's got my kids, that He cares about details like Caleb's swim test.
Thank you Lollipop and Frisbee. Thanks also to Jazzercise, Legolas, and Cha-Cha. You guys rock!