Monday, August 10, 2009

Scout Camp and Other Sadnesses

I just dropped my boy off at the church for his first Scout Camp. He's done overnighters before, but this is his first long far-away official camp. He'll be gone Monday through Saturday.

I'm not a clingy mom. I'm all for my kids growing up and learning and exploring. I know they have to have an identity apart from our family.

But I'm totally sad. Sad sad sad sad sad.

I tend to not be a worrying mom. I try to block my mind from what-ifs.

But I'm totally what-if-ing.

What if he gets lost? What if he throws up on the way there? What if there's a lightning storm (which I wasn't worried about until one of the leaders started asking the boys what they'd do in a lightning storm)? What if there are bears? What if he gets sick? What if he's homesick? What if he's cold? What if he's sad? What if someone is unkind? What if HE'S unkind? What if the leaders aren't responsible? (They will be. They're great leaders. But I'm what-if-ing, so I am being a little crazy.) What if an older scout talks about or does things that I don't want my boy to know about? What if...

It's not really Scout Camp that's worrying me, I guess. It's just a symbol of all the changes ahead. In his life, there will be times he's lost. There will be people around him telling him things I don't want him to know about. There will be times he's sick or cold or sad or treated unfairly without me there to help. Life won't be easy for him. It's not easy for any of us. But I WANT it to be easy for him. I want him to be happy. I want him to be safe.

He's such a good kid. He'll have fun. He'll be a good Senior Patrol Leader and will help the other guys feel comfortable. He'll learn about being independent. And then he'll come home to me and I'll laugh about my anxiety.

But just for today, I'm going to be sad. I let him get leave without giving him a hug because none of the other boys were getting hugs. Now I wish I'd grabbed him and messed up his perfectly spiked hair and told him one more time how much I love him.

(And I'm also sad because I thought there'd be less fighting with him gone, but Sophie has decided to fight with Kate instead. Blah. And also my dryer broke.)


Liz said...

I'm sorry you're sad, and I'm sorry it's not more calm over there! I have a few more years ahead of me, but I'm starting to get some of your what-ifs!!! I hope this week cruises for you, and I hope you get to enjoy the 3 kid family for this little while! Ben was clinging to Josh like a monkey when I saw them this morning before Josh left! It was super cute! Oh, and I'm sorry about your dryer! That's crappy, but you know who to call!

Danielle said...

Its rough. When Lizzie went to camp I felt myself tearing up throughout the week...and I am SO not a clingy mom.

Lori Mills said...

Last year Charlie did sleep away camp for the first time at age 7. My worry was more about him missing us than vice versa. He survived; they all do. Mosquito bites not withstanding, nor the 6 pairs of clean underwear in the bag- they all survive!

Amber said...

Amen to everything you said! And you said it beautifully, as always.

Heather of the EO said...

I would be asking all the same worry questions. I'm sorry. It's so hard to let go, even if we try really hard to be good at it.

And the fighting? Seriously sorry THAT didn't stop!

Debbie and Boys said...

You're pretty good at identifying why you think you're sad. I'd just be sad. But you're right, if it were me, I'd be sad because it signifies big changes in the world-yours and his.

tonandboys said...

I am the over-the-top anxiety, what if mother. I am so impressed that you don't normally waste precious energy what-iffing...and I am comforted that even totally put together mothers have these feelings at the big cross-roads of life. Plus, you have inspired me to relax and let my boy ride his bike to the neighbors and feed their dog...instead of driving him over there everyday like the total control freak that I am. Yes, I think it will be good for him. Thanks for helping me see that my little boy needs to grow up someday..whether I am ready or not. He should be so grateful to you.