Dear Mom and Dad,
Camp is almost over and this may be the last letter I send to you before I come home. I wanted to let you know I’m feeling pretty sad. I mean, don’t worry, everything’s OK. I just mean, I’m really sad about leaving camp. As I’m writing this, tears are starting to fall down my face. I hope you’ll even be able to read this.
I already wrote to you in my other letters about my amazing counselors and about the awesome kids in my bunk who have become like my best friends. We really, really became close this summer, you have no idea. We totally bonded like siblings. We know everything about each other! OK, now I’m really, really crying. I’m so sad! I mean, I know there are things I won’t miss (like cold showers!), but almost everything else about camp I’m totally going to miss. And oh, did I tell you I was in the camp play? I had the lead role! It was amazing! Can you believe it?
Anyway, there’s something else I wanted to tell you. I met someone. I wasn’t going to tell you now, but it just sort of came out as I was writing. I don’t want to write anything more now because I’m just getting more sad thinking about the End. But, I wanted to let you know there’s that, too, that I’m sad about.
I’m feeling so many emotions, and I don’t even know how to continue this letter. I’m sorry if this seems all over the place. It’s just how I’m feeling in this moment.
And, here’s the thing - I just wanted to prepare you guys because as much as I don’t want to admit it, I kind of don’t even want to come home. I mean, I love you guys and all, but I just wish this summer could last forever, and I kind of don’t want to go back to school and I don’t want to go back to our normal, boring routines and I don’t want to deal with the family and sibling bickering that we do. I just want to make this last forever.
So, I’m going to ask you a favor. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m going to ask because I think it’ll help me – it’ll help us – get through this.
When I get off the bus and you see me all sad and with tears running down my face, please just take a moment to stop. Just capture an image of me. Just see me. And in that moment, maybe you can just acknowledge what you’re feeling, even though it may not be pretty. You may be disappointed that I’m not happy to be home or you may be sad that I’m sad. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that you’ll be feeling something, and I’m asking you just to notice it.
And then notice what you’re thinking – maybe you’ll be thinking something like, “She shouldn’t be so emotional” or “She should be happy to come home” and ask yourself if those thoughts are entirely true. And then consider that I just need time and remember that I won’t be seeing many of my friends for another year. Consider that this will pass and that this really has nothing to do with you guys and that you don’t necessarily need to react to my behavior. As time passes, I know these feelings will diminish. And then I’ll be able to approach you and share a little bit more each day. Please consider that I want to share things with you, but that I’ll need my space in the beginning. Transitions are hard for me, you know.
And even though you may be disappointed or sad, please know it’s OK if you feel disappointed when you see me.
Mom and Dad, if you can do this, it would really, really help me I think. In fact, it’ll help all of us transition back to “normal” living. And just to do my part, I’ll do the same thing, OK? We learned this cool technique at camp this summer (it’s called The S.T.U.C.K. Method) and I’ve found it’s really been awesome in helping me deal with difficult situations in my life, like this one. And I think if we can all make an effort to try it, everything is going to be just fine.
I love you.