Him, excited, nearly spinning himself into mental circles with the wondering of "What do we do next?"
Me, nervous, nearly falling down under the weight of the wondering "Will he be ok?"
Him, picking a bottom and then changing to a top bunk.
Me, remembering my husband's "I had a few campers fall out of the top bunk every year," not knowing what to say to him in front of his peers that wouldn't make him lose face, wouldn't take the light out of his eyes. Closing my eyes and trusting God to guard his sleep.
Him, wanting to change into his camp shirt right away.
Me, making him wait because 'none of the other boys are changing right now, so why don't you wait until they do?' All I want for him these next two days is that he 'fit in'.
And then there was the running off and me begging for a goodbye and him moving on and me getting in the car and driving away wondering if these boys barely old enough to shave are really capable of caring for my child. Despite my providing the camp with a guide to the hallmarks of Aspergers and the areas Gates will most likely struggle in, are they REALLY ready? Will his heart and his soul be nurtured or will I get back a child scarred when the dearly desired experience turns sour?
I come home and I worry. Worry about the bathroom and what if he needs to go in the middle of the night but is so frightened by the dark and wind that he wanders into the lake? Worry that he will be so overcome with newness that he will sink to the ground overwhelmed and no one will hear his cries over the wind. Worry that for two days no one will talk to him. Worry that the shine of camp will dull and cut too quickly.
I do not worry that other children will find him strange. I know they will. But will they find him loveable? Will they see the heart that I see? Will they marvel at the knowledge held in his mind? When he laughs too loudly, will they laugh with him? Will the staff be a safe place for him to fall?
I open Facebook and I see a Twitter update from a favorite author. Just one verse and nothing more.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deut. 31:8, NIV)God himself going before us. Going before my child. Never leaving him, never forsaking him. I am not there, but God is. And God cares and loves and knows him more than my wildest abilities.
If I say I'm not still worried, I would be lying. My frantic Facebook updates chronicle my restraint in NOT emailing the camp to see if he has survived the last 4 hours. But I am trying to rest in this, the exhortation not to be afraid. God is there.