I have gotten use to reading her personality signs, and most of the time I can identify when things start to escalate in her little mind. It is wonderful to see my Cora's excitement for summer camp. Her excitement includes being with other heart kids that won't judge, to having a week to be with children who can relate to things other heart healthy children her age may not. But along with that excitement, I start to see the angst in her eyes, and the tone of her voice change.
I see her anxiety start to over rule her excitement, and her body posture begins to change. Then....the what ifs begin. What if I have that counselor from last year who yelled at me all the time, and said horrible things to me and my friends? What if the heat is so bad Mom I can't breath well? What if I collapse like the girl did last year? What if it storms really bad? That this point it becomes my job to take hold of the what ifs, and bring Cora back to the simple positives.
Once the focus has changed back to the fun of heart camp, and what it means to Cora, we are back on the excitement train!
I believe, for Cora, Heart Camp is like her home away from home. I believe she looks at heart camp as her place to be her raw self, and not be judged. I believe, for her, it's a safe place to share things she goes through, that she doesn't even share with me. I believe that without Heart Camp, their would be more sad days, followed by more anxious behavior, and depression.
I wish I was powerful enough to wipe all the anxiousness from Cora. I wish I could tell her that all those what ifs would never happen. I wish I could make everyday Heart Camp for her, but I simply can't! I can however give her one week to flourish! One week where her spirit takes flight! I can give her Heart Camp!
So thankful for Cincinnati Children's Hospital and the wonderful folks who put together this one magical week each year! Our family, especially Cora, wouldn't be the same without this glorious Heart Camp!
Blessings Until Next Time!