Missing You Already
Another beautiful and memorable summer has come and gone, and all in the blink of an eye. Just as it is for you as parents, the days are long but the time goes by too quickly. Our girls grew up each day and each week. I’m sure many of them came home looking taller and seeming older. Perhaps by now you have helped to wash the sleep from their eyes and the face paint from their faces, removed the remaining boa feathers from their hair and the green and white poilish from their nails. Perhaps they are ready to share stories and memories with you at the kitchen table, or, perhaps they are still unwilling or unable to speak at all. We know for many girls it may take days, and maybe even weeks before the sense of pain and loss of saying their final goodbyes finally turns back into laughter and pride as the good memories finally fill them again. We know for new families, this “reentry” is unfamiliar and likely strange-it is all a sign of a wonderful, emotional, and successful summer. We know it’s hard to grasp the emotion, hard to comprehend the joy, and hard to understand the depth of their newfound sisterhood. But thank you for letting them go for these invaluable weeks and allowing them the freedom and struggle of standing on their own two feet. Know that they were loved and adored here, they were cared for and protected, they were tucked in at night and they were carried and hugged endlessly. The little ones are now a part of our legacy, and the older campers would give anything they could just to start all over again. Trust us when we say, what happens at Romaca is magical. We fully recognize that it seems foreign to most of you at home and that for many of you, letting them go was hard and sad. But know that you gave them the gift of a lifetime. Our hearts are still aching for Romrec-the pain is so real and so raw for them as they say their final goodbyes. It hurts us so to tear them away from each other when every bone in our bodies knows their hearts are truly connected and that by breaking them apart, they are falling apart inside. Hold them all tight for us, please. Tell them we, too, don’t want it to end and we are sorry we couldn’t give them one more day or one more hug when they begged us not to put them on the bus.
Ask your daughters to tell you how they Lived this summer. Ask them about the risks they took and the new friends they made. Ask them about a connection they made with a new friend who wasn’t in their bunk. Ask them about their best sneak out or favorite OD. Ask them how it felt to jump off the wibit, or soar on the zipline. Ask them about their favorite campfire song or to sing you their olympic cheer. Ask them to sing to you at the kitchen table and to tell you about their camp sister. Ask them about Twin Night (“Day” ;-) and Garbage to Catwalk. Ask them about Lip Sync Battle and Apache Relay. In between the loads of laundry, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for knowing sending them away to camp was the right thing for your daughter, even though maybe you received some tough letters or had a bad phone call and you fought the urge to race up here and rescue them. Look at them now…be proud of yourselves for letting go and be proud of them for learning to overcome their struggles here and ask them how they did it and who helped them through the tough times.
Our hearts are heavy. The counselors look and feel lost, asking “what do we do now?” It never gets easier to comprehend the passage of time or the pain of saying goodbye to campers who cling to you and beg you not to let her go. But we return them to you, temporarily, until they come back to us again in 10 months. In the priceless words of Romrec…they lived. And in the words of Elphaba and Glinda in Secret Show 2019-here at Romaca, we have all been changed For Good.
See you in 2020. Xoxo
Lauren and Debra