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My youngest son leaves for  white water rafting camp tomorrow.  He will be gone for eight days.  In his eleven years, he's never been away from me for that long.  Last night we had a parent meeting at our church telling us all about the trip.
My Baby
 I think they waited until two nights before the trip to give us the details because they were afraid we'd change our minds if they told us ahead of time  First of all, they will be driving for two days to reach their destination which is somewhere near Sacramento.  Once they reach the camp, they will sleep OUTSIDE.  Outside as in ON THE GROUND!  I had no idea. I thought they were going to be in cabins!  I was worried enough about the actual rafting, but now I have to worry about bears.  Oh, and it's supposed to rain while they're there.  What if he gets all cold and wet?  And they're going on a hike.  Are there ticks?  What if he gets Lyme's disease?  Who will make sure he has sunscreen on?  What if he gets a sunburn?  What if he breaks a bone or cuts himself?  How far is the nearest hospital?  These are just a few of the worries and questions that filled my mind during the meeting.  At the end, the youth group leader asked if there were any questions.  I looked around at all of the other parents, but nobody raised a hand.  Were they thinking what I was thinking?  I started to raise my hand, but then I looked at my son who shot me a look that said, "PLEASE don't embarrass me!"  I put my hand down.  According to the youth group leader they've done this trip for twenty years with no major injuries or problems.  That made me feel a tad better.

Being a parent is so hard.  Entrusting our children to others is also hard.  Yet, it's something we must do on a daily basis.  When I was student teaching over twenty years ago, my master teacher told me to treat every child as if he or she was the superintendent's child.  That made sense at the time.  However, once I had my own child, I changed my motto to "treat every child the way I would want my child treated."  I am not saying I have been 100% successful, but I do my best.  After all, I am not a perfect parent either.

I trust that my son is going to have a wonderful time at camp.  I trust that all of the adult's on the trip are looking out for the children they have been entrusted with.  I trust because the alternative would be unfair to my son.

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