Camper Send-off

We are tired, we are wired,

sending off our kids to camp,
hopeful they return inspired

Stuffed together with sixteen pairs of socks:
our aspirations, wishes, dreams
that they grow to become all we pray for them to be

Yesterday, heard on the radio –
we are preparing our children for future jobs that don’t yet exist;
Sobering thought, but I digress
yet ponder this dazzling truth;
They shall one day glide through doors
our imagination has yet to construct

We wave frantically from the puny horizon,
attempting to encapsulate the big, small, profound and mundane:
“Have fun, be safe, be daring,
where’s your wallet, sunscreen, look out for new friends!”

Some, armed with a knapsack of nosh
because sugar-fat-and-salt
is a currency unto itself in camp;
And who knows
maybe there’s a lonely somebody who easily connects over barbecue potato chips
less so with pointed questions

We turn to each other
Did you send whatever was listed, in fine print, on page four of the registration packet?
Good heavens!
Are we negligent parents?

We are happy, we are relieved
We are somewhat a little of everything
As we send off a heart-shaped slice of ourselves
And let go, let go, let go…


About the Author
Chana holds an M.S. in Special Education. Her innovative poems, essays and lectures reflect two and a half decades of experience working with students of all ages and abilities. Chana's writing has been published on, as well as in The Canadian Jewish News, The Jewish Press, and AMI. As a longtime volunteer with the Friendship Circle, Chana was recognised by the Ontario Legislature for “bringing a smile to the faces of children with special needs.” Although Chana 's "heart is in the east" she currently lives with her with her family in Toronto.