(Continued from Tuesday)

When last I left you MoB readers, I was standing outside my bathroom listening to Chase do his best rendition of Let My People Go in the shower.  I was then overcome with a horrible sense that Dave and I had just made an irreversible decision that would change us all.  Thanks to those readers who made guesses on the comments and in emails to me as to what that decision was.  No one got it right but as I went through some of the dire hypotheses as to what the situation might be, I started to think that maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing.  After all, we were not adopting an African baby or converting to another religion.  Maybe I am overreacting.  But isn’t that our job as parents?  To make a BIG huge deal out of nothing?  Here, I excel.

Last weekend we mailed the non-refundable check to send the boys away to sleepaway camp for four weeks this summer.  During that time in August, we will not be permitted to visit or talk directly to either of them.  And Dave and I will have only each other to talk to.  For four straight weeks.   Both realities scare the bejesus out of me.

I never thought I would send my kids away in the summer but I had heard some great things about Camp H in the Pocono Mountains.  And the boys were otherwise uncommitted at this point so a drive up the old PA turnpike to the camp open house was worth the trip.  Originally we thought this would be something that Noah would do this year and Chase would follow next year.  But that kid had such a smile on his face throughout the day, when we asked, “Chasey do you want to go to camp, too?”  we already knew the answer.  Truthfully, after seeing what they do up there for four weeks, I want to go!

Moms are not allowed.  I asked.

This camp is not for the designer crowd; it is rustic a la Meatballs (Hiiiii Mickey!), compete with a lake, pioneering, arts and crafts, and lots of sing alongs.  I am told by parents that your kids come home from Camp transformed (for the better) into more confident, more developed children.  I think that is a good thing because they will be returning to parents who will have regressed significantly in their absence.  Someone will have to take care of us.

But my worry meter began to inch up the moment I dropped the check in the mail.  What if they miss me?  What if they get sick?  What if they are bullied or unhappy and I AM NOT THERE TO SAVE them???  What if they can’t find their socks because these boys would lose their heads if they weren’t…

(I am now counting backwards from 10 and concentrating on my breathing.)

As with most parental angst, these worries are not about them and ALL about me.  I will miss them terribly but a mandatory snip of the apron strings might not be a bad thing for any of us.  As long as when they return I can tether them back to me from time to time.  If things go badly, they will curse us forever; if things go well we will have accelerated the inevitable thing called growing up.

Dave and I are blessed with jobs that allow us to send our kids to overnight camp.  We are doubly blessed that we have kids who are willing to try something new and exciting.  And we are triply blessed to have found a camp that is well run and seemingly committed to an all around great summer for our boys.  Why then do I feel as if I am sacrificing something here?

I guess because I am.  It’s called family.  But I’m willing to give it a try for the sake of experience and with the hope that we will all appreciate each other a little more come September.  I already do.

Noah and Chase and Camp H Open House 2009



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