Thursday, August 6, 2015

Preparing for Summer Camp

One of my goals for this past year has been to get Josh ready to go on a three day overnight camp at a respite center in the mountains about a half an hour from our house.  My baby just turned thirteen this week and I know that he needs to stretch his wings and experience more of life independent from us and from the emotional safety and auditory comfort of just listening to music in his bedroom.

Every other month, this past year, Josh has gone to a day long camp on a Saturday at this camp which has been especially designed for youth and adults with special needs.  He's done well spending the day doing various campy activities like swimming, hiking, and attending an evening dance all with his one-on-one buddy.  Last winter, the camp trucked in a huge pile of snow and Josh enjoyed slipping around on it on a sled.  Another time they went to a baseball game together.  Each time Josh has seemed to enjoy it.  I am encouraged by the fact that when we drive up to the camp, he seems relatively willing to get out of the car and engage in the activities of the day.

In less than two weeks Josh will go for his three-day stint.  Even though we've been building up to this all year, I feel really nervous.  How will he do at night?  Will the nurse keep track of his medications?  How will toileting go?  What if he hates it and feels like we've abandoned him?

So much of parenting is about making sure that things go well, being prepared, protecting our children.  This feels especially true for a child who is visually impaired, has limited verbal communication skills and has to take daily medications in order to live.

Yet, my life experience and my faith tells me that if you don't take risks, you don't grow and you don't really live.  And I know that taking (hopefully, wise) risks is a huge part of the teenage years.

So I'm nervously looking forward to what this adventure might bring.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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