Five months seven days and twelve hours ago I signed all four kids up for camp.
All four chicks leaving the nest for an entire week.
At the time I thought I was brilliant.
A week of lazy days spent lounging and twirling my hair and eating bon bons and reading War and Peace?
A week of date nights and witty conversation and dancing the night away?
The future was so bright I needed shades.
Except my brilliant idea seemed to dim as camp got closer and closer and closer.
What was I thinking?
I went from “all four chicks leaving the nest” that ended with extra exclamation points.
To ending that same sentence with a question mark.
I distracted myself by getting everyone ready. We shopped for snacks and washed towels and sheets and bought sunscreen and packed and searched for sunglasses and googled the six-hour distance to see how long the trip was actually going to take.
And then the day finally arrived.
We arrived at the church ready and packed with a car loaded down with four suitcases and enough groceries to feed the entire western half of Kentucky…..
….and our newest member of the family.
He came along to see what all the commotion was about.
There were hugs and smiles and some more hugs and a whole bunch of “I’ll miss yous” and “don’t forget to wear sunscreen” and “take care of your sisters.”
And too quickly it was time to go. I stood there silently, waving frantically with a big smile plastered onto my face as the bus pulled out of the parking lot.
Then I walked to my car, sat down in the front seat and promptly burst into tears.
Not a few tears.
Not the kind of pretty crying that you see in the movies.
Hugh, sobbing gulps from the very center of my self. And hiccuping. There was lots and lots and lots of hiccuping with the occasional bit of odd stuff running out of my nose.
And as I sat there with my head in my hands on the steering wheel tears dripping onto my yoga pants….
….I felt something on my arm.
It was a paw.
A tiny, furry little paw that patted me.
Again and again and again.
As if to reassure me that a week was such a short time.
And I hadn’t really ever read War and Peace before.
And I had a new outfit for date night and a brand new red lipstick.
And that if I blinked….
….all the chicks would be home again.
He was right. Wonderfully, gloriously right.
And the funny thing? I thought we were the ones who rescued him.
But he rescued us right back.