Cystic Fibrosis · Life · Parenting


This is me, not freaking out.

We just dropped Levi off for overnight camp. He’ll be gone two nights. He has been apart from us overnight before, but it’s always been one night, or he’s stayed with my sister. This matters because if he’s gone one night, we can manage all his treatments around being gone, and if he’s with my sister, well, she knows how to do his treatments nearly as well as Paul and I do. But he’s going to be gone two nights this time, so he’s going to need to do a lot of this himself.

I don’t think I’d be worried at all if it weren’t for his cystic fibrosis stuff. I am sure I’d have a little twinge. I had a little twinge the other day because I hugged Elias and I think he grew like three inches in a week. But Levi doesn’t have social anxiety, and he’s not worried, so I don’t think this would be a big deal.

Everything is going to be fine. I know this. There is a nurse on staff. I explained everything in case Levi needs help. I left an instruction sheet. The nurse has my phone number. (I highlighted it. In two places.) The camp is close by; I could be there in less than 40 minutes. And he’s going to do fine. He’s been doing a lot of it at home himself anyway. Honestly, if everything went pear-shaped and he didn’t get any of his meds or treatments for two entire days … well, he’d have some digestive problems. He’d be pretty uncomfortable. He wouldn’t die.

I am happy he’s going to do this, truly. I talked to him about it earlier in the spring, and the first thing he said was, “OH! Can I take my sleeping bag!” He could not be more excited. There will be a bunch of kids from his Sunday School class there, and he’s pretty pumped about that too. He needs to be able to do this stuff, and not live in a little plastic bubble in our house protected from all germs.

My logical brain knows all this. My logical brain is fine. 

My lizard brain, the one that just reacts and doesn’t want to hear about your stinkin’ logic, just knows that MY BABY IS LEAVING AND I WON’T KNOW IF HE DID HIS VEST AND GET HIM BACK HERE RIGHT NOW.

This is me freaking out just a little.

But here’s the thing. I don’t actually have any control over this anyway. I don’t have any control over the progression of his disease, or any other dire thing that could befall him. Saying this out loud is terrifying, because if we all exercise hard enough and eat enough kale and take the right supplements, we’re going to live forever, right? I mean, we don’t really think that. But we kind of do. We kind of think we’re the exception and the horrible thing will not happen to us.

We are not the exception. Doesn’t that just bite?

So this will be my two-day experiment in letting go. Not of Levi. Not even of control. Just of the illusion of control. 

Levi’s fine. Here he is with his friend Malachi. 

I made them stop so I could take this picture. Levi turned around and ran away as soon as I was done and never looked back. Mom who?

Elias is going to miss his brother. 

But he’ll be fine too. He’s hanging out with Auntie tonight, making chicken nuggets and salad with cranberries for supper. I heard a rumor there was a special dessert. 

Paul and I are going to get Chinese food. All by ourselves. We’re extra fine. 

I’ll report back after I pick him up on Tuesday. I’m sure there will be lots of stories. I’ve half a mind to start the recorder on my phone in the car on the way home and just let him go. I’m not sure my one brain and two ears will be able to keep up with the torrent of chatter, and I don’t want to miss anything. 

4 thoughts on “Camp!

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