I enjoy and appreciate
the youth and children’s camps
in which our church participates
(PASSPORT camps).

At children’s camp this past week,
I celebrated one of the differences between them.

We were in our own cabin at Eagle Eyrie
outside Lynchburg, VA.
and between activities, I went back to the cabin
to retrieve some forgotten items.

In the girls’ room,
gathering a Bible and a pair of glasses,
I noticed with great joy
in one bed a worn stuffed panda bear,
in another a threadbare stuffed lamb and a frayed pink blanket,
in another a faded doll and a pink and blue blanket,
in another an old stuffed puppy—
none of them shabby though—
each beautiful—
all resplendent.

Every bed contained
what our preschool director calls a “lovey”—
A beloved plaything that had become “real.”

I don’t know at what age that changes—

when the “loveys” get left behind
and each bed holds just sheets and pillow.

I do know those particular girls
are already getting to the age
at which pointing out the presence of their loveys—
making a big deal about them—
would probably embarrass them,

but I will celebrate such wonder as long as I can!


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