Friday, September 23, 2005

Gone camping

Gabriel left this afternoon for a church youth camp at Cultus Lake. This being his first time to be away from home, he was very excited and anxious. “Is there gonna be a shower?” “Are there blankets?” “Are there bears there?” he kept asking.

Knowing that our church puts together wonderful programs for the youth, I encouraged Gabriel to go on this trip. It is also a good way for him to integrate with other church kids, and have some good worship and Bible study time.

Yesterday, we bought his toiletries from Pharmasave. When we got home, I left him to choose his tavel bag and sleeping bag, and pack his own clothes. I wanted him to feel all grown up about it. I felt I should step back and let him take responsibility. He even remembered he had to bring a Bible and a notebook. But now that he has left, I’m here wondering if he brought a pen, his pair of sandals, his toothbrush, enough clothes… Is he able to sleep? Is he warm enough?

I worked only half-day today because Gabriel wanted me to bring him to their meeting place myself. They were told to be at church by 3:30 pm.

“Mom, are you going to stay until we leave?” he asked more than once.

“Yes, I can stay, if you want. I’ll wait till your bus leaves,” I assured him.

As we pulled into the church’s parking lot, he was excited to see the other campers. We got off the car and I walked him towards the church’s lobby.

“Mom, you don’t have to stay,” Gabriel said with confidence.

“Well, OK. Do I get a kiss?” I asked. Gabriel stopped and I gave him a peck on the cheek. He walked on by himself, carrying, not rolling, his wheeled backpack and sleeping bag. He looked like a hiker.

“Have fun,” I called out. Delighted to see him greeted by new friends, I drove off.

This is like taking him to his first day in kindergarten, only I don’t get to peek through the window or the door. And I just have to trust that all will go well, that there will be no bus accidents, no broken bones, and no bears(!).


lerryblossoms said...

gabriel came home safely last sunday. said it was life-changing and lots of fun. he came forward during prayer to accept Christ in his life!!

Christine said...

really?! yehey!! it's amazing what God can do through camps and retreats. i also recommitted my life to Him during a youth retreat/camp last year. how old is gabriel by the way? :D

lerryblossoms said...

baste is turning 12 on Dec 12. pre-teen already, going into high school. but still baste to me.