I knew it was coming for me, the camp anxiety. After my initial camp freak-out when I signed the forms and actually committed to camp, I kind of calmed down about it. It was a long way away, and I had much more pressing daily anxieties to attend to.

But I know myself well enough to know that I wasn’t going to skip blithely through sleepaway camp preparation without spending extensive panicking time considering the what-ifs: What if Ruby didn’t like the food or kids were mean to her or she hurt herself water-skiing or she got poison ivy or she couldn’t address a letter or she got terribly homesick or … any and every contingency I could possibly imagine.

I always counter anxiety with research, which doesn’t necessarily help – sometimes I find out all kinds of things that just stress me out more – but does keep me occupied. So I’ve been busily Googling all kinds of good things about camp: increased independence, working out problems themselves, lifelong friendships, physical activity, unplugging from screen time. I have sought out “camp hacks” to make her life easier. I’ve flipped through the camp’s Facebook photos and scoured every corner of its webpage. I’ve “pinned” cute care package ideas on Pinterest.

When I hit information overload and need to switch gears, there’s nothing like retail therapy (aka buying shit on Amazon) to soothe me, and luckily, there is no shortage of items to buy for camp: mesh laundry bags, a tennis racket, a zebra-print trunk, clothing labels, a fold-up chair.

The other parents from her school and I text back and forth almost daily: Do they need special shoes for horseback riding? What’s the nearest hotel for the night after drop-off? Where can we find a trunk the right size? Can they get emails (yes) or send them (no)?

Meanwhile, of course, Ruby is blasé about the whole thing. She helped me pick out her trunk and tried on a bunch of bathing suits, but she hasn’t yet exhibited the least bit of anxiety about packing, eating, sleeping, or injuring herself (which she rightfully accepts as a certainty and not a possibility). When the camp director told us that there was a nurse on staff, Ruby shrugged and said, “I’ll get to know her really well because I am the most accident-prone kid in the third grade.”

Not wanting to contaminate her good-humored optimism with my rampant irrational anxieties, I have not yet asked her if she worries about getting homesick, about not being able to hear my voice for two whole weeks, about what to do when she needs a hug.

But secretly, I don’t know what I am going to do without being able to hear her voice for two weeks or what to do when I need a Ruby hug.

She leaves two weeks from tomorrow. She is excited but largely unconcerned. I am excited, too, but also all bitten cuticles and Pinterest pages and Amazon Prime deliveries and deep breaths and cups of chamomile tea.

We will get through this. Well, I will get through this. Ruby doesn’t need to get through anything. Ruby just needs to pack and then get dirty and get hurt and eat carbs and fight and make up and tell ghost stories and scream-sing songs around the campfire.

Of course she can do it. She is Ruby. But I can do it, too. I’m sure I can.

But if anyone wants to give me a pep talk or tell me about what a great time they had at camp, I’m listening.

And Googling. And shopping.