Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why I Love Camp Friends

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that every year, I spend a week at Leadership camp.  We drive a couple of hours up to Mt. Rainier to Cispus to spend a week teaching high school students about leadership. 
 Cispus Learning Center.

Each spring, in preparation for the upcoming summer, the staff meets to review the schedule, fix what we perceive to be broken in the curriculum, and act very business-like about camp.  We also eat too much food, stay up too late, and chat WAY too much conversations, when we should be paying attention.  It's always good.  I love these people.  They are good to the core, they care about bringing out the best in others and they make me laugh.  I am SO blessed for having them in my life.

So, back to the point of the post.  Why I love Camp Friends.

Last night, at about midnight, I was sitting on my bunk, chatting to K and C, about turning 40.  K is turning 40 next week and is feeling good about it.  C turns next summer.  Both are JUST FINE about turning 40.

On the other hand, yours truly is TERRIFIED to turn 40. 

It's just a number.  Ya don't gotta remind me that the number is not an accurate reflection of the attitude or behavior.  I'm the girl who threw out her scale for the first time in 25 years because she was sick of the number determining her mindset. 

Back to my story.  The three of us are talking and in a very camp-like moment, they start asking me WHY I'm struggling with it.  WHY I am not ok with it.  WHY I am not ready for the next step.  These people see me three times a year and they are digging deep.  They are asking the tough questions, they are peeling back layers, and they are hearing everything I say.  The thing about camp friends is that they inquire because they care, they inquire without prying, and they inquire in a way that shows nothing but love and support.  They see me three times a year and they only want the best for me.  And, because we are at camp, I let them in.  Normally, I would deflect with humor.  Not a chance of that happening at camp.

I tried to shield myself from the hard truth (ok, I just put a pillow on my lap and kept hiding my face into it with each question) but the reality is...

40 means no more babies.  The door is no longer slowly swinging shut like it has been the past few years.  SLAM.  It's shut.   Done.  We will not have another child.  Simply writing those words makes me burst into painful, mourning tears (not now, since I'm writing this post, sitting at camp in a room full of people at this very moment).  Alexander will be an only child.  I will never feel another baby move in my belly.  I will never smell that newborn baby smell on my child.  I will never feel the thrill of bringing a life into the world.  Which means it is time for me mourn and move on from what will not be but what I wished for. 

I wanted 2 boys.  Not 2 kids...2 BOYS.   My dad often tells me I have 2 boys and, with Eric and Alexander, Dad is correct..  Don't get me wrong, Alexander is everything my heart desires and more.  It's the reality of a door shutting that hurts.  Its the reality of a door shutting that I FOUGHT so hard against for SO LONG during the infertility battle that hurts the most. 

BUT.  And here's a big BUT....

the conversation with K and C was healthy and good for me.   By knowing what is holding me back and dread a milestone, I can actually move forward.  It means I can spend the next six months mourning what won't be, what can't be, what will never be.  Instead, with each work-out and step in the right direction to a healthy lifestyle, I can move toward to what will be.

Vegas in October, baby.  Be there.  Cause I'm turning 40!  And I'm going to do my damnedest to be ok with it.  Especially if K and C have anything to do with it.

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