This transition comes with a slew of mixed emotions. Basically, it’s an emotional roller coaster. I feel the utmost gratitude, joy and happiness mixed in with frustration and disappointment.
This weekend B and I spent our last weekend at Camp Ramah in New England. This week he will finish his full time job with them. Even though I left my job there a year and a half ago, this weekend I officially said good-bye, or until we meet again. For the past 10 years I have summered in Palmer at Camp Ramah in New England and in my 7 years with B one of us has always been working at Camp. It is a place that brings out so much emotion in me – a place I owe an awful lot of thankfulness both professionally and personally.
B and I met at camp, many of my best friends are from camp, and much of my professional career has been with Camp Ramah. While this transition is ultimately incredibly positive as B is starting law school in the fall it was certainly came with a great deal of sadness and even confusion. I thought I was ready to leave to when we were at camp this weekend and yet when I was over come with sadness, I have to say I was surprised.
We spent this past weekend at family camp. Many of the families who joined us for the weekend have been there since B worked on family camp 3 years ago, many are parents I have spent many hours speaking with, and the staff are all young adults I (we) have watched grow up – everyone provided words of support and encouragement to B and I as we said goodbye to camp and hello to the next steps.
One family told us they can’t imagine Palmer with out us, to them we are the camp mom and dad. Another parent let me know that it was because of me that they sent their first kid to camp and they are about to send their 3 child. All of these words pulled on my heartstring and made saying good-bye a little bit harder. The heaviness I felt during havdallah was so hard. As we welcomed the new week as a community with song and love, I wondered if and when I would ever have this incredible spiritual experience again.
With all this in mind- I can’t imagine spending another summer at camp. Each summer I left my home and when I came back I had to rebuild my community. It is very hard to be adults who leave each summer. I often felt like when I returned to Boston (or wherever I was living) I had to start over again as though we had just moved. I am excited for the continuity of being in Boston through the summer and the new adventures that it will bring.
I love camp – I think it is the most significant and important decision any parent can make for their child. Jewish camp provides the foundation for a strong future Jewish commitment; there is no equivalent experience. I hope that the mixed emotions I feel towards camp today will fizzle and what will remain will be the most positive memories and pictures of the happiness, joy, and love it brought into my life.
For now I say so long. I know we will meet again. Maybe when B and I have kids of our own, maybe sooner. For now I am taking a much-needed time out!