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A long overdue post on the confirmation camp

Something that I should have written much earlier but all these silly politics have diverted my attention the whole of this week. So, let me jot down a mom’s thoughts on her son’s journey to adulthood before he accused me of not feeling emo over him but only on the eldest brother. Hehehe.

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(view from College General)

All the 16 years old were sent to the College General on Friday night last week. For me, it is nothing because my children had been going away to scout camps, church camps, friend’s house and etc. However, this year, I offered to help the teachers in charge because I can see that they are short handed. So, I lingered around the camp more than I should.

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(beautiful old chapel up on the hill in College General)

On the first night, I volunteered to prepare the youth’s dinner along with 3-4 other moms. The reason we take it upon ourselves to take turns to prepare their five meals is to bring a bit of homeliness to the children. This will also get the parents to be involved as this camp is a milestone in the 16 years old life. After all the other mothers have left, I managed to sit down and chat with one mother. She had to stay with her son during the camp because he is a spastic child.

I have seen her around church but usually, we sit far away from each other and never really talk. From the first instance, we hit off because I told her if my fourth son is around, he too would be something like her son. We spent almost an hour, sharing the trials moms with special children face. I told her how I have secretly prayed for her whenever I see her guiding her son with walking difficulties towards the priest during holy communion. I had even shed tears sometimes, feeling her burdens and yet, amazed at her love.

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(Two or shall I say three of my favourite persons where church is concerned.  One is of course Jesus.  Next is the coolest priest.  After that, the professional joker, Martin Jalleh.  Thanks, Martin.  )

Sometimes, it is very good to be truthful with our feelings, whether it is with our loved ones, people we care about or even strangers. We got nothing to lose, really. During the camp, I also reminded my own son to watch over her son. These are all the little-little things that form the characters of our children.

So, I am not surprised when Martin Jalleh and the other teachers quipped how ‘good’ my son is. He is one of those exemplary chaps. I am all for affirming my kids, so if I think they are good, I say so. The reason is not only my husband and my upbringing but the fact that my older children had gone through caring for their very ill brother once. Those hard times may not be what we want but nevertheless, they had somehow gave us kinder hearts and make us better persons.

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(long, long climb up the hill to the chapel.  I was wearing a 2″ heels and my calves ache for two days afer that.)

I am thankful that all my sons and I are part of the Christian community. Through it, we have been able to watch the growth of the people in the community and get inspired from them. One of them, a mom who had four children was there. She had been ill and was in a wheelchair for several months. But praise the Lord, she was able to walk now and even able to climb up to the chapel. When I see that, I praise the Lord for the strength she had and the recovery she made.

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(the mysterious building housing the relics of the saints, a museum in College General.  I see this building every morning when I am in Mt. Miriam.)

Before the camp ended, the youths dedicated a song to the parents.

Many of the youths and parents cried. But me? I was there alone as hubby had conjunctivitis. I didn’t cry because there really isn’t much to cry about. I guess it is because we (my son and I) have already such chummy relationship at home so there is nothing to feel emo. It was much harder with the first son. I wonder what I will feel in another four years when my #3 son goes for his confirmation camp?

I hope the camp has left profound changes in all the parents and youths. I know I do. I know that Jesus is with my son, through thick and thin, good and bad, happy and sad and with Him, I shall not have to worry too much. Thank you Martin and if you are reading this, don’t worry, in another four years, I would have forgotten the punch line to all your jokes and I will be able to laugh like I heard it for the first time. Then, it is another seven more years lapse (#3 son and #5 son have seven years gap) and I wonder if both of us are still around or I probably even forget my own name?




One Response to “A long overdue post on the confirmation camp”

  1. Beautiful pictures of the College General. Seems like a very quiet place for the confirmants to contemplate things. 🙂

    I think one of the most important thing to have in a person is a kind heart. I take my hat off to those parents with special needs children. I see them in church and I marvel at how much love and dedication they have for them.

    They are God’s special gifts.

    Wish that our local councils would see that so that they can help them out at public amenities to help them get around… 😐