Braeden (12) recently spent a week at camp. Camp is always special, but this one is extra-special.
Every summer, since my firstborn was six-years-old, I sign my kids up for camps of various sorts. Sports day camps, arts day camps, vacation Bible schools, and overnight Bible camps. For Braeden, camp has always involved me finding and hiring someone to work as an aide with him, assisting him in both doing the tasks and the social aspect of camp.
If I'm honest, there haven't been too many camp experiences that he has enjoyed. You see, many kids with special needs find large, loud, group situations overwhelming and stressful. Braeden is no exception. In fact, one summer, we left a VBS registration line up with both he and I in tears. Him, because the thought of me leaving him there in all that chaos was terrifying. Me, because the knowledge that he could not go to VBS (like "normal" kids) was devastating.
Yet I keep trying. (No, I've never dragged him kicking and screaming into VBS.) Trying different camps, with different focus, having different aide workers. Because camp is an experience I don't want Braeden to miss out on. I always knew that if we found the right one, he would love it as I did in my childhood.
I spent so many years attempting to give my son a normal experience, when what he really needed was a special experience. Camp Rehoboth: Bible camp just for kids with special needs. Rehoboth means room. Turns out that is exactly what Braeden needed - room to move, room to grow, room to simply be.
He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land." ~Genesis 26:22
I don't know about you, but I am learning that I spend far too much time and energy trying to make things "fit." I want to fit in. I want my kids to fit into the roles their teachers have for them. I try to fit everything into its perfect place in the house. My schedule is all about fitting tasks into time. Fit here, fit there, fit everywhere. (About makes me want to have a fit!)
Sometimes, we all just need a little room.