15 Jul
2015
Posted in: parenting
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Summer Camp Blues (Again)

direction signs at Camp Alexander BSA

I remember that last month of my first pregnancy 13 years ago. I checked and double-checked the lists of tasks to complete and items to buy. I told everyone who asked that I was ready to welcome that baby boy. I was a fool.

I’ve thought about how unprepared I was for motherhood many times over the years. It’s apparent after this week, that my biggest hurdle to overcome is my inability to let go. Letting go is one of the objectives of mothering. Our four children will, God willing, leave our house prepared to be contributing members of society. I, eventually, will encourage them to live away from me. I know this is what I should do, but I’ll probably beg them not to leave.

view of Camp Alexander BSA Colorado

Last summer our oldest spent one week at a camp that was 10 minutes away, and he called or texted each day. I was nervous but knew I could always resort to spying on him. This week he is hours away in another state with spotty cell phone coverage. He may as well be in another country. I have much work to do in the next five years with myself to actively participate in our oldest living anywhere but with us. Sending these children to college might do me in.

pond view at Camp Alexander BSA

Sunday we drove through a rocky, picturesque canyon complete with a whitewater rapid-filled river to drop our 12-year-old at Boy Scout summer camp. I was upbeat with a smile on my face. Occasionally, I assured him it was alright to decide to come home instead of staying, which was met with a slight eye roll from the boy.

Line of American flags at Camp Alexander BSA

The camp is beautiful and offers exciting opportunities. Bags had been packed for weeks. He positioned himself near the front of the group as we toured camp, not wanting to miss one word his counselor uttered. I know he was ready for this adventure. He’s more than capable of being away from us. We gave quick hugs, issued reminders on making wise choices, got in the car and drove away. I cannot believe I drove away and haven’t heard anything from him in days. Nothing. Not knowing is a form of personal torture which leads me to pestering my husband with non-stop questions about what’s happening at camp. He inevitably answers with, “He’s fine.” I answer with, “But we don’t know that!” It’s a vicious cycle of worry. This is what camp has done to me.

View of rock cliff and road at Camp Alexander BSA

I can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing. I left part of my heart in a canyon with no cell service, hours from us, and I would really like it back. I know he’ll have stories that belong only to him to share with us when he returns home. That’s a good thing, but I don’t have to like it.

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