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...And now, exhale.

I have kept this blog mostly about #COOL #FUN #CAMPY love, with very little behind the scenes views, since during a normal preseason I don't want to share any summer spoilers! Usually, I want to get everyone hyped for the incredible, awesome, life changing experience that awaits you and your children.

This is not that preseason. This will not be that summer.

As many of you know by now, Tumbleweed has suspended our operations for summer 2020. In other posts and on various parts of our website, I go into greater detail of how we made that choice, what we are waiting on for the possibility of different programs later in the summer, and where Tumbleweed stands from a business perspective. Lots of information fed into this final decision last week, lots learned, and still more to know about the road ahead of us, but this is not that post. This is about me, about being a mom, about being a camp director, and that by sharing some of my thoughts, I can help others with their sadness, their hard choices, their conversations.

Remembering to breathe, and other important tips.

I found myself during these last few days holding my breath, having to remind myself to breathe. It's hard to have been under the ocean for two months to now float up on some unknown shore. I'm not ready for next steps yet, but feel like I can share these few pieces of advice from my life at sea on a dolphin in a hurricane:

  • Stay Curious - Get Outside. When in doubt, get out of your house, your car, your office, and be outdoors.

  • Stay Grateful - Stop and Be. Do you find your mind wandering, thinking about a space on the countertop? Maybe thinking about how silly your child is? Go with that. When you realize you are in the moment, do not jump out. Instead, stop and be in that mindful place. Talk out loud about what is happening at that very moment, even if no one is there.

  • Stay Open - Be Vulnerable With Your Kids. On Friday, I had to tell my daughter that camp was canceled. It's hard to explain the level that she is on when it comes to camp - she thinks I'm a superhero because I'm a camp director. We have been signing Re-mem-mem to her as a lullaby since before she could speak. I think she secretly thinks Tumbleweed is her last name. So when we said she couldn't go to camp this summer, she was very confused and then upset. And we shared that we were upset too. And that's ok. It's not going to change who she is, the experiences that she had, or the memories she will make. But it's sad - and it helped to all be a little sad together, so we didn't have to be very sad apart.

  • Stay Optimistic - Create Things to Look Forward to. You don't have to go crazy and make up your own holiday (The Holy Eve of Sourdoughing). I started watching an old show again from the beginning to look forward to a new episode every night or two.

Can't go over it, can't go around it, guess we'll have to go through it!

Last Thursday, I looked for trap doors, secret passageways, and escape routes. I was trying to find any way around the impending decision of closing camp. "What if we did..." "How about we just wait until..." "Why tell folks about..." It was a lot of avoidance; I was trying to do the impossible. I was trying to control a situation that cannot be manipulated. What sat so heavy on my chest was the image of hundreds of families, reading the sad news about camp. Reading that their last hope for summer relief was gone. I laid awake, holding my breath, thinking about all the kids, the staff, the parents who had so much taken away from them this year, and now this. What were they going to do? It wasn't until I was driving to camp on Friday morning that I realized there was no way around this. So I turned my mind to the imaginary storm ahead and went through the day. To the parents I spoke with since Friday, with your kind words, thoughts, and emails, you got me through. You pushed me through the onslaught of disappointment.

Letting go of the dolphin, racing through tsunami waves in the category 5 hurricane.

This pandemic has been a lesson in grit, in loss, and in letting go. I have likened the last two months to the effort it would take to hold on to the dorsal fin of a dolphin, racing through mega, deep sea ocean waves, barely maintaining my grip, in the earsplitting wind of a category 5 hurricane. On Friday, I think I finally let go of the dolphin and floated in the water, in great relief. There is something so empowering about battling a great challenge, whether that is propelling a business forward, marching on through a great journey, or rearing a child. There is also a blissful sense of knowing when you have done your best and when ending the battle is the right choice. The dolphin was this summer, and letting it go was the best thing I could have done.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I'm always here to receive your rambling, too. And remember:

We do hard things now so that the good times can go on forever.

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