September 16, 2008

oh to be seven.

this weekend was absolutely phenomenal. i know i say that after every camp, and i really do mean it, but, whew. working with the itty bitties #1, puts things into perspective, and #2, wears you out!

when i called my little buddy (all 52 pounds of her) on wednesday, i cried. a small, fragile voice picked up the phone, answered my questions politely (yes, she was excited; and yes, she was nervous, and was she going to sleep outside?). my heart broke for her. this was a seven-year-old girl who had lost her everything- her mom- just a few months ago, moved to a new house with her aunt & uncle, started at a new school, no longer had her "fun summer" of playing with mom and doing any 'ole thing. her uncle told me that he was worried she wouldn't talk to the other kids, let alone share her story with anyone. she started out shy, but by the morning of day two, you couldn't peel her off of me if you tried, she continuously posed as america's next top model for all the cameras, and she wouldn't stop talking and creating nicknames for everyone. she even sang every karaoke song they'd let her up there for. we really did have a blast.

but still, my heart ached. this girl was seven; only a few months had passed, and she was already afraid of losing her memories. as i was walking back from the staff meeting on saturday, h and i talked about the strength of our itty bitties and mentioned he had no idea what it would have been like to be me- to have experienced a loss so young in life. i fought back tears as i walked inside and my little buddy ran to me and threw her arms around my neck like she hadn't seen me in years. as we walked back to the cabin, she had her arm wrapped tightly around my waist, wrapping tighter as we walked further. she was excited about her new friends and heat lightening and eating s'mores.

when her aunt & uncle dropped her off, i remember thinking what a blessing camp was going to be for her. when they came to pick her up, i realized i what a blessing she had been to me that weekend. what a blessing she was in my life.

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