Sunday, July 3, 2011


Jasmine, Vada and I left this morning at 7:30. Our destination? A Christian based camp in Wisconsin. (At the risk of sounding overly paranoid Im just going to leave out the name of the camp until I have my baby girl back with me and then i'll share all it's information.)

My GPS said from here to the camp would be about a six and a half hour drive. Last night however, I ran out of one of Vada's seizure medications. Check-in time for the camp was between 3 and 5 and if we waited for our local drug store to open, at 10, we would be late for the sign in. So, this morning Justin got on line and found a CVS in Wisconsin that was along our route. Actually, it was out of our way by almost an hour but we left ahead of schedule so we should have been okay and would have been if I had read the GPS correctly. When I programed our route in, the GPS asked if I wanted to continue on the toll path or go around them. I accidentally chose the option to go around them, causing the trip to be another hour long. 

The drive was fine. Jasmine sat in the back with Vada. They watched Dvd's of Saved By the Bell and Jasmine did a good job at keeping Vada entertained. Therefore, there was minimal fussiness from either girl-including me!

We arrived at Jasmine's camp around four, which was great timing considering all of the set backs that we had along the way. The check-in process took maybe twenty minutes and then we were escorted to her cabin. The cabin was already full of most of her cabin mates an her consular was there to greet us as well. Jasmine and I had a moment of awkward silence between us. I could tell that she wanted to hug me but was overwhelmed by all of the newness surrounding her. I wanted to squeeze her and never let her go. Instead I gave her a quick hug and kissed the top of her head. Her hair smelled like her Pantene shampoo-Clean and fresh. I wanted to keep talking to her. I wasn't ready to say good bye. I wasn't ready to get into the car and drive another seven hours, especially with out her. I didn't want to embarrass her. So I said a quick good-bye. Told her that I loved her and turned and walked out the cabin door.

My stomach was in knots. It shouldn't have been but it was. With each step toward the cars direction that feeling got worse. Vada needed to nurse and since it was too hot to sit outside I slipped into the back seat and began feeding her, my eyes remained glued toward the direction of Jasmine's cabin. A small portion of me was hoping that maybe she may come back out to say one last good bye.

As I was nursing Vada I noticed that Jasmine had left her red, white and blue sunglasses behind, Justin's mom had given them to her as a fourth of July gift. When I saw them I thought of walking back to her cabin to deliver them, it would give me one more chance to snag another hug and kiss but I decided not to. I hope that she wont be too disappointed tomorrow. She had plans of wearing them for what ever activity they had planned for the holiday. I just couldn't bring myself to go back in to her cabin and tsee a possible look of embarrassment in her eyes. I see it often and more now than I ever have. It stings just as much now as it did the first time that I saw the emotion coming from her. All I want for Jasmine during this experience is for her to have a good time, for her heart and mind to be open and for her faith in God to grow. It was hard enough saying good bye the first time and since I had already made it through the first one without tears I thought that I should just drive away. It was time.

As I drove away my stomach knotted more and more and by the time that I made it out to the main road I had to pull over to vomit. As I was wiping my mouth I was shocked at my nerves. I had been able to not cry but I couldn't hold down the lunch I had ate earlier. The last couple of weeks I had felt nothing but excitement for Jasmines camping experience but now that it was here I was having serious anxiety issues. After composing myself I got back into the car and continued to drive away.

To put things into perspective, this was the first time that Jasmine has been so far away from us. There has been couple of times that she has gone to Disney World in Florida with her grandparents and for those trips she was gone for a week each time but she was at the very least with someone we knew. Three years ago she went to a local camp and that too was a week long stay but she was only twenty minutes away. Therefore, leaving her at that camp was easy, especially in comparison.

The camp that Jazzy is at now has restrictions on calling home and also on receiving phone calls from home. They discourage it. I am one of the reasons that those rules were made!

While I cant describe how much I miss my girl, I know that she is where she should be. Things wouldn't have worked out the way that they did-to get her there, if she wasn't suppose to go. I believe this was part of God's plan for her. I pray that when she gets into the car this Saturday she will be full of stories about her new friends, the activities that they did and what she has learned about God. While saying good bye was a hard thing to do I know that this is only the beginning of many good-byes. There will be more summers of camps. There will be mission trips (She has already told me about her interests in doing them.) and then there will be college. My girl is growing up and at this moment, I am so proud of her decision to go to this camp.


Isaac T said...

Thanks for the post, Tara. Again, great stuff. Thanks for "exposing" yourself to the reality of what you are going through as a parent. Thanks for your honesty and not holding back.
As a person who has spent over 25 years going to that camp, grew up at that camp, volunteered at that camp, served at that camp as counselor and then asked back as senior counselor, it is my prayer for her each day that your daughter comes back as transformed as I was after going there.
CFS has been one of the most spiritually influencial things in my life. I am not who I am without CFS and everything that happened in my life there.
So as I pray for your daughter each day this week, I pray that she'll come home, excited for her trip back next year.
You and Justin rock! No other way around that. You are fantastic parents. And it's obvious to me that you are making intentional decisions in your lives, and I pray you will see His blessing in that!

Janie Fox said...

Being a mom is hard work. I will be praying for you and Jasmine!

Ilisa Ailts said...

Wow, I love your writing. I too would be sick to my stomach. My oldest talks about going to Africa for 2 weeks when he's about 11 or 12. I cannot stand the thought of it. I love the idea of what he'd learn but not the plane ride or the time away. We'll see.