School has ended and summer has begun. Clear blue skies, ice-cream cones, sprinklers and sunscreen. Laughter, late nights, fire pits and s’mores.

Chaim Boruch finished school with cuteI wondered how our summer days would play out little crafts and smiles all around, and once again, I wondered how our long summer days would play out. This would be the first year ever that we would be able to send Chaim Boruch to his summer-school program, and yet we had a week until it began. I tried my best to keep him engaged while avoiding conflict, temper tantrums and frustrating situations.

We decided that he would join his siblings for the 40-minute ride to their day camp at our fellow Chabad emissaries nearby. And while we were somewhat apprehensive about this idea, we tried to figure out the best way our attention could be divided to ensure that Chaim’s siblings had a smooth and calm start to camp.

Again ... anticipating the worst-case scenario and praying for the best. It’s almost like taking a deep breath before plunging underwater, unsure of one’s strength to keep on swimming before that next breath.

We arrive at camp. So far, so good.

I feel little hands clinging to my skirt as I take in the scene.

Happy faces all around, backpacks scattered, crafts already set on the tables, sweet smiling counselors and the scent of snacks, crayons and sunscreen all mixed together. Each of my kids are given a warm welcome, including Chaim Boruch, who by now has picked up on the lighthearted spirit of camp.

He gestures and tries to communicate with me about what he sees and notices, and I smile back and make happy conversation with him while nudging my little ones to set their stuff down.

I find a seat, and instantly, my 3-year-old and 5-year-old land nervously on my lap. Chaim Boruch has a hand on my shoulder, and I feel good cuddled in this camp huddle.

The theme of camp is “Out of This World.” Each boy is given a yarmulke designed with the solar system on it.

Chaim Boruch sees a pile set aside and instinctively takes off the plain yarmulke he is wearing and exchanges it for the camp one. After all, he learned about the solar system in school this year, so he knows what’s good!

I try to explain to him that these yarmulkes are for the campers, but my words fall flat. There is no discussion here, and I proceed to ask the camp director about how I could purchase a new yarmulke.

I find myself trying to introduce my kids to new friends and counselors, and inch towards the door in the hope that this new experience is a successful one.

Chaim Boruch notices the pile of camp shirts that I am to bring back home for his siblings to wear on trip days. He is pointing and nodding, and, of course, the shirts are orange. One of his favorite colors.

I am tired by now. It feels like itI am tired by now should be dinner time, but I haven’t actually had breakfast yet.

I head towards the ever-so-accommodating director, a friend and fellow emissary, and I see she has gathered the pieces. She kindly gives Chaim Boruch a camp shirt, and at this point, my heart feels like I had just won the lottery.

Chaim Boruch is smiling and happy, and thinks he is a camper at camp “just like everyone else.”

“Just like everyone else.”

What is it about inclusiveness that warms us to our core?

What is it about the small things in life that aren’t actually so small?

Acceptance, community, being a part of one whole.

The Torah teaches us that when the Jewish people came to the wilderness of Sinai and encamped before the mountain, the Hebrew word used for “encamped” is Vayichan, which is singular in tense. Rashi, a commentator, comments that they encamped “k’ish echad b’lev echad: As one man, with one heart.”

The Torah teaches us about the concept of unity despite our “singularity,” and every day we navigate the differences to reveal the unity.

Inclusiveness is not about what defines us as individuals; rather, it’s about highlighting the spark that runs parallel among each of us as a whole.

And so, from one spiritual camp before Mount Sinai, we leave Camp Aleph with Chaim Boruch holding my hand.

He is happy and excited about having “gone to camp,” and we talk all the way home about the morning we have had so far.

I find myself talking, yet my thoughts are elsewhere.

Kind of like scattered blossoms in the wind.

“Just like everyone else” ... I wonder to myself.

I’m not even sure what that means, but what I do know is that I am grateful to be the mother of the happiest camper on earth.