My big girl just went to camp. When I dropped her off, it felt like the first day of kindergarten all over again. My heart squeezed in my chest, and I had to work hard to keep from crying.
As I talked over my feelings with a friend, she gave me a great suggestion: letters.
As a mom who shares custody of her child and one who has survived camp several years in a row, she suggested I write my daughter a letter everyday from each member of the family. She told me her daughter still has a collection of letters from the family pets and younger siblings (all written by my friend). Even though her daughter is now old enough to know the cat never did learn to write, she still cherishes those memories.
So, I sent my daughter daily emails from all of us, including the cat and the dog. She loved it. In fact, my niece (who was at camp with her) got jealous, so the cat and dog started writing her too. Good times.