This past Sunday we dropped the Big Cheese off at camp. He had waited for it for months and was so excited that it was finally here that he couldn’t wait for us to leave.
“Could you just leave now?” he said.
“Why don’t we walk around–take a tour–while you’re waiting on your cabin mates?” we tried to convince him.
“Uh, could you just go?” was his response.
As you can see, worrying about whether or not the Cheese would get homesick has never been a concern. That was one of the reasons that we decided to go ahead and send him to camp even at the young age of 8. But he’s always been good that way. Even from the start when I’d drop him off at the church nursery or Mother’s Day Out there would be no tears, no stretching his wee little arms out trying to grasp one last goodbye hug.
Nope. Most of the time, if we were lucky, all we got was a quick wave and a muffled, “See-ya-later.”
I wasn’t worried about my missing him. Before you go calling me Mommy Dearest, make no mistake that I will miss my child. Of course I will. I guess that I’m just not a mom who gets emotional about those sorts of things. The fun and experiences that he will be having far outweigh any feelings that I might be having about his absence.
Did I tear up when he first walked through the tunnel of clapping counselors? Sure I did. But I teared up because it was a milestone–a new beginning of something fun–and hey, my heart’s not totally made of stone (just certain parts of it.)
However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the worry that I suddenly felt when I walked away from his cabin. Not the kind of worry that he would get hurt or miss home (of course not!) Instead, I felt myself wanting to run back into his cabin for…reminders. Instructions. Motherly instructions.
Don’t forget to take your glass’s case with you when you go to the lake. And there’s your extra pair in your bag. Just in case.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated. You don’t want to get sick and miss all of the fun.
Don’t forget to brush your teeth. I mean really brush them, not just move the tooth brush randomly around in your mouth.
Don’t forget to wear clean underwear. Everyday. That’s why there are seven pairs in your bag. Please don’t come home with six clean pairs.
Don’t forget that you have money to spend at the camp store. Make a good choice, whatever you buy.
And take lots of pictures.
And write in you journal.
And listen to your counselors.
And eat at mealtime.
And I could go on and on. Because at my core I am a worrier. Because this is his first time away from home (without another family member present to handle any emergencies that might arise) and because I’m not gonna lie. My first-born being out in the wilderness without me makes me a little nervous.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. And neither would he.
Now would you hurry up and leave already?