This summer, instead of girls camp, the youth in our church congregation had the opportunity to go to something called FSY the next day (For the Strength of Youth). Kind of a glorified “summer camp” with counselors and classes and dances and so many opportunities to learn and grow.
Lucy had stars in her eyes about that prospect. Social things? Oh boy she loves them. Independence? She’s ALL in.
There were a few things that seemed ominous to her mother though, so many unknowns: her unwillingness to use her cane in unfamiliar territory, her morning shot, blah blah blah, but most importantly: no roommate.
All the girls she knew in our area had already paired up easy peasy. Roommates chosen and locked in.
Some kids could do this sort of thing alone. I still remember one sports camp years ago when Max didn’t have a roommate. I was worried sick about it going in, but that boy didn’t blink an eye. He thrived just fine. But Lucy is a different story. And she was right with me knowing this wouldn’t be possible without a special kind of roommate who knows how to help her maneuver.
That’s when that plucky little girl of mine came up with the idea to ask a girl named Charlotte from her basketball team. I was hesitant. I didn’t know this girl at all. But Lucy was persistent. She got Charlotte’s mom’s phone number for me, and I called.
You know those moments when things fall into place and you’re just sure they are being orchestrated by Heaven? There’s this blanket of calm that washes over you and you know it’s going to be ok? This was one of them. Things fell into place. Charlotte knew Lucy well, she happened to be free those specific summer days, and she was in.
Miracle #1 had fallen into place.
Problem #2 after figuring out the roommate problem #1: the session Lucy was signed up for was full.
Miracle #2: I was miraculously able to get a hold of the right person who opened up a spot for that roommate, knowing Lucy’s situation.
But there was still worry. It was tricky to get a hold of anyone to answer my questions (makes that miracle #2 that much more amazing…this is a relatively new program they are still trying to figure out some kinks). Would there be anyone who could give Lucy her shot? Could Lucy’s dorm be closer to the classes so she didn’t have to maneuver as far? The biggest worry for me, to be honest, was that we were leaving for Lake Powell with Claire and a whole slew of friends while she would be gone. Was she going to make it ok?
One night as Lucy and I read through the upcoming FSY schedule together my heart started pumping. I was reminded that this thing was FIVE DAYS LONG! There were all kinds of classes…and dances (Lucy thinks dances are simply the worst thing ever invented:)
But still, that blanket of calm came over me again.
I happened to be talking to a friend on the phone and happened to mentioned that I was trying to figure out Lucy’s shot while at FSY. Never in a million years did I think that since this friend happens to be married to an oral surgeon he just may have had his kids practice with IVs and injections before. I mean, who does that? But my friend jumped in and told me her older daughter would be at FSY the same week and would be happy to give Lucy her shot (she loves Lucy and has taken her under her wing many times).
But still, after all those miracles the Sunday before Lucy left I was a basket-case.
Lucy was too.
This was scary business.
There was SO much that could go wrong: would her sweet roommate be ok with her moods? Would her counselor be able to understand her and nurture her? Would she use her cane as promised in unfamiliar territory? Would someone be willing to do her hair in the mornings? How would the showering situation go? How would she handle the dance even after all our discussions? How would she handle lack of sleep and unfamiliar food? I heard there were SIX HUNDRED kids in this session, would people take Lu under their wings with all that commotion? Oh there was so much to worry about.
But we pulled ourselves together after we both shed some tears and headed off the next morning with her darling roommate.
We met up with some other darling friends for some lunch before check-in, all the nervous anticipation and excitement mixing together:
Under my big smile and “you’ll be great!” attitude with Lucy, I was secretly a giant ball of nerves helping everyone lug their suitcases to the check-in, finding the medical helpers to explain the situation, finding (with a breath of relief) her counselor so I could let her know Lucy’s situation, making sure her shots were ready, helping the girls unpack and helping make up their beds.
But you know what? That blanket of calm wrapped around me again. Lucy was excited. She has such a good roommate. There are SO many FSY helpers even if there was a problem, what was the worst that can happen?
And Lucy was ready for her mom to leave:)
I cannot tell you the relief that washed over me when I took this picture, knowing all was calm and settled:
And along with that peace came some excitement. As I left those girls and I started the two hour drive back home the world started opening up to me. It was going to be ok.
Lucy had this.
Lucy called me one day in, her hair obviously not done, her glasses so smudged I had no idea how she could possibly see out of them, but she was smiling. She was doing this thing.
She had some pretty good ups and downs as to be expected, but I got pictures like this and it made my heart soar:
And this one from her cousin who we didn’t even know would be in that same session:
Bottom line is that SHE DID IT!
Miracle # 26 🙂 That is the most amazing accomplishment I have to say, and a very huge step towards being more independent, her biggest wish.
I want to always remember sitting in the boat as I cleaned it up, both of us home from our adventures (Dave and I had just arrived home from the senior trip with Claire) as the sun sank on the horizon, just me and Lucy bathed in it’s hot goldenness, her spilling out every detail of FSY, both of us getting a little teary about the goodness of it all, and the awe that she did it: that amazing week of learning and growing: a humongous step for both of us.
So grateful for all those miracles that made it possible, and that girl who knows how to make things happen.
Love her (and that darling roommate of hers) forever and ever.