Camp 4 - Closing Ceremonies.

So.
After I found out I was home.



We had closing Ceremony on Sunday Morning.
Camp is strange that way.

You begin on day one.
Strangers.
And by closing ceremonies.
Familia.

Promises to visit.
And write.
And facebook chat into the wee hours of the morning.

I had so many incredible conversations over the last four days.
But.
My last one.
My last one.
With a Momma.
Who had her own weight loss story to share.
Which was amazing.

Will be the one I take with me always.
"My daughter," she started, with a familiar look in her eyes, the teacher part of me could read what she'd say next, "is autistic."

I smiled inside.
Your daughter is a lot of things.
She's beautiful.
And young.
And smart.
And kind.

But okay.
We'll work with this label.
I smiled.

"So, I don't know if she got the we matter message, exactly, but I asked her what she learned, and she said, 'Mom, you just got to love yourself', so you reached her."

Blown.
Away.

Because.
'Member when I said, I'm not a presenter.
It's not what I do.
Right?
I mean I teach.
But I don't present.
And when I agreed to come to camp, I kind of meant like, let me set tables or cook or carry boxes, not share a message.

But if one kid.
One amazingly beautiful young lady, learned that.
Done.
And Done.

Home and home.

Highlights of the entire Camp Experience, in no particular order, are as follows:

  • Maddox.  Teachers aren't supposed to have favorites.  I mean we aren't.  But.  Sometimes, especially, specifically when a child is born wearing their heart on the outside.  You fall in love instantly.  INSTANTLY.  It may have swayed me when he handed me a black and green bracelet and said this is for you.  He'd won it as a prize.  He gave me his prize.  Why?  Well, if I had to ask Maddox, probs because we were both just home.  I can't wait until he grows up and is able to share the pieces of his heart with the world.  Next president, folks, next president.
  • Meeting Miss Leanne.  Total transparency - I got billed as a celebrity at camp.  Which I am not.  But some folks HAD seen my episode.  Miss Leanne totally had.  And, I have to say: FRIENDS for LIFE.  Bottom Line.  Girlfriend has a BIG back surgery scheduled this morning.  Will you please join me in prayer for back and her swift recovery and maybe a little more for her to see the people that love and support and know she isn't burdening any of us when she asks for help?
  • How about the time the little pre-kers were tripping over their follow the leader rope?  And I scooped up this one little guy and asked him to hold my hand back to the park.  His beautiful eyes stared up at me like...LADY?  Who are you?  But he followed me.  Heart Melter.
  • Listening to Alba.  Oh man, listening to Alba, and Dr. Jen who reminded me so much of Dr. Jill.  Free therapy is always good.
  • Part of their message was...stop putting deadlines and expectations on ourselves, live the life you have, don't live hoping your life will follow someone else's storyline.  Timeline.  Brilliant.
  • Middle schoolers.  Who...male and female came up to me afterwards and said things like, "Hey, your session was AWESOME!" and "Number One, I really look up to you and think you are awesome, and number two, thank you for saying that part about feeling like you don't belong inside because...well...I feel like that, a lot."
  • The best tortilla chips this side of the mason dixon?  Totally. :)
  • Two momma families. :) <3  Like my mommas.  Only cooler.
But the best part of camp.
Is summed up by my main man, Daniel.

Who I believe is in 4th grade.
When he climbed the stage to share his favorite part of camp.
You just knew it was going to be good.

"My favorwite pahrt of camp was seeing everwryones brwown skin all over."
*edited for the cutest accent ever

Home Daniel, Home is the word you're looking for.
My favorite part of camp was finding home.

Little self and I were both happy and sad to head home to Boston Ballet.
Excited for sure.

Little Self said, "I'm happy because we'll be back next year."
True Little Self, so true.

Little Self said, "Sad it's over."
True Little Self.


---
Little Self?
You know you matter, right?
Just the way you are.

And adult self.
Is really, really proud of you.
Just as you are.




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