(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WWW.FAITHCHICK.COM 062106)
Hey all ~ I’ve had a few requests for this oldie but goodie, so, to relieve my humiliation a second time…here it is…the infamous “Susie Takes the Wrong kid to Camp” post. (BTW, this year I did manage to bring the RIGHT kids at the RIGHT time. Just to show you I CAN learn!)
I am clearly in over my head. For months now, I’ve woken in the morning with a doom hanging over me, a sort of cloud that blots out the rustle of the wind through the trees, the birds singing, the sunshine through my red curtains.
It’s my to-do list. Master To-Do. He owns me. And I can never please MTD because, like evil Pharaoh who made the Israelites hunt for their own straw while requiring them to construct the same number of bricks, every time I get something done, evil Master To-Do adds something else.
Makes a girl want to move to Hawaii or something. Leave it all behind. And should you think I jest, let me just say that a flight to Jamaica on Travelocity is only $500…
The thing is, I thought I had a handle on my life. Thought I was getting it done, maybe not in style, but hey, I distinctly remember a home-cooked meal at least once last week, and I was not only in church on Sunday with matching clothes, but managed to pull off children’s church with a smile.
Yeah, I can do this, I thought. I had even helped my son Peter pack for his big week at camp, producing not only a freshly-purchased rain poncho, but sunscreen and bug dope, as well as a fully filled out medical form. I was feeling good when hubby and I packed Peter in the car and headed to camp, some five-plus hours from our house. So we arrived thirty minutes after check in time – we arrived, didn’t we?
We headed for the camp office to check him in. The sounds of excited children filled the courtyard. Peter was just in time for dinner and fun. Sidling up to the counter, I said, “I’m here to check my son in for camp.”
The cute blonde receptionist pulled out the list for the week and began running her finger down the names until she came to the Ws. She frowned. Looked up at me. “What’s his name?”
I repeated, and just to help, sorta leaned over the desk, peering at the list upside-down. I noted it had the title, “Young Teens Camp.” Peter is eleven…not quite a young teen. “I think you have the wrong week there.”
She looked up at me, looked at the page, the dates. Shook her head. “Nope.” Then, as a coldness slid through me, she said, “I have a Sarah Warren here…but no Peter for this week.”
Sarah. My daughter Sarah. Who was also signed up for camp….next week. The same Sarah who was back home….five-plus hours back home….
I looked at the blonde and hung onto the counter, feeling my knees turn noodley. “Please, please don’t tell me that I brought the wrong kid to camp.”
Everything went very, very quiet. In the office. In my brain. My son barreled into the room at that moment – “Hey mom, what cabin am I in?”
I turned, wide-eyed and took a deep breath. “Perhaps you should step outside for just a moment.”
He obeyed without comment, probably afraid of the hue of my face. Thankfully, the Camp Director happened to be standing nearby and she quickly shoved me into a chair and began consulting her cabin status. “We have a spot for him,” she said, offering hope.
“But this is the only week we have open for your daughter.”
Of course it was.
“We’ll hold her spot if you want to go back and get her.”
Oh sure, I’ll just scurry home and be back in a jiffy. I sighed. Put my head between my knees.
“We’ll get her here,” my husband said quietly.
We got Peter settled into his cabin, and set back along our course, me still light-headed. I called Sarah. Told her to start packing (which meant digging through the Everest size laundry pile for clothing that a. didn’t smell or b. could be washed and dried in time). I told her we’d leave first thing in the morning.
And this is where God stepped in. The moment where Psalm 35:22 came to life. “Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Awake and rise to my defense! Contend for me my God and Lord!” Of course, my only enemy here was…uh, myself and my dysfunctional need to say yes to everything. But still, God stepped in…via my cell phone.
On the other line was my pal Naomi. Who was wondering if I might be home and free to hang out.
I burst into hysterical laughter, then explained my plight.
And she said… “How about if I pick her up and drive her half-way to meet you?”
Again, I needed to put my head between my knees.
But that’s what happened. My incredible friend dropped her life, drove a half-hour the other direction to pick up my daughter and then drove two hours to meet my hubby and me so we could drive Sarah to camp.
Getting Sarah there just as the lights-out bell chimed.
“Contend Lord, with those who contend with me. Fight against those who fight against me.” Sometimes I wonder if I am my own worst enemy. The good part is that God is for me… “The Lord be exalted who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
At least I have someone one my side. Fighting against the me who would make a mess of my life. “My tongue will proclaim your praises all day long.”
Now, if one of these Me’s could just remember to pick up the kids on Saturday…