Today was the first day of summer camp. Her first day at a new camp at that.
And she was alone. Alone with more than a hundred kids.
It was so noisy and confusing. Her friend would be there ... only not until later.
Until then she'd just have to be a lone, lonely loner ... in a sea of noise, and strangers with stoic faces.
Introductions rarely go well inside chaos. They weren't going well.
She gripped my hand.
I stayed through the morning announcements, but then I had to go.
She gripped my hand tighter. Her nails in need of trimming.
"Stay," her eyes told me.
"I have to go. You will be OK. You will see. You will make lots of friends."
She walked up the hill toward the other campers and disappeared.
I stood there for a long time, waiting to catch sight of her; hoping it would be alright. That she'd find a friend. That she'd wave and smile back at me. But I couldn't find her among the crowd.
"She will be OK. She will make new friends," I tell myself again, hoping it's true.