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When “ish” is Enough


I sent two boys off to summer camp this morning.

One boy was locked and loaded, ready for every single thing about this adventure.  The other boy was “ish.” 

“Ish” is the answer he has given me every time I have asked him if he’s ready, excited, or packed. 

“Eh. Ish.”

I suspect that he’s a little more than “ish,” but he doesn’t want to show me all of his cards, lest I not take him seriously the next time he puts the brakes on something I’ve signed him up for. 

But the thing is, “ish” is enough for me today. 

Sometimes “ish” is all the enthusiasm you can offer, and sometimes it’s all you need.  “Ish” is enough to get a boy out the door to an adventure. It’s enough to take the next step.

When “ish” is all you have, you go.  It’s okay to start scared.  But start. Once you get started, sometimes you surprise yourself.  Sometimes you change your mind.

For the record, I sent each boy with enough clean socks, underwear, and even washcloths for every day of this week away.  What happens to those amenities beyond today is outside my control.
And actually, I think can predict their homecoming already: “Did you guys use your toothbrushes?  Underwear?  Socks?  Washcloths?”
“Eh. Ish.”   
“Ish” isn’t ideal.  But it’s usually enough.


Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. My son (12-ish) came home from camp with his suitcase unopened, everything in it still there and neatly folded. On the upside, I didn’t have any laundry to do except for what he was (still) wearing and I hadn’t had to smell him all week.

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