My kid is back from a two-week camp and my head and heart are complete again. I don’t deal so well when he’s away. Two whole weeks. To myself. It was an epic span of time but I made it! Two weeks, two weeeeeeeks, what did I do? Totally random stuff I actually had time for and cleaning things so deeply and thoroughly I surprised myself. Passed the time with SVU reruns, bookshelf organization, long walks, you name it I did it. My sleep was off, I’d wake up like I forgot to do something and roll over and realize, ‘he’s not here’. I’d text him (not too much? maybe? yes, too much) but he was so busy he’d give me one-word answers. Unless he asked for money. “Did you remember to refill my wallet?” is the longest sentence I got the first week he was there. It’s like he’s already in college!
In my excitement to pick him up, I couldn’t see past this day on the calendar. I signed him up for the camp in March and since then I’ve been counting down to today. I woke up early and arrived promptly. There was a short camp presentation and then it was time to hit the road. M reluctantly said his goodbyes and we headed out. I could tell he was torn about leaving but at the same time, I wanted to squeeze him and kiss his face. “I really like living in a dorm,” said the kid that doesn’t realize how not glamorous dorm life is when you’re ten and you only have two weeks worth of clothes, one class, and a super chill roommate that enjoys math. I didn’t say a negative thing to him, I attempted my best empathetic mom routine secretly hoping he didn’t notice how giddy I was that HE WAS MINE AGAIN. Ok, ok, it was great that he liked it at camp. A lot. Probably the most positive experience in his short time on Earth. I did not take it personally...well, I tried to not take it personally and I think I achieved a 98% unbothered score.
As we packed his belongings into the trunk, he verbalized his dissatisfaction. “Why can’t camp be three weeks or four? Four would be great!” I nodded and explained that it was a relatively positive thing to not want to leave - if camp was awful, he’d be more than ready to go home. He read his Harry Potter book the whole two-hour ride home and barely said a word to me. Again, I played the part of a quiet taxi driver with an 85% unbothered score. Ok, maybe 75%. He finally spoke up about ten minutes from home to chide me on my impatience while driving. “So-and-so drives so much better than you, no offense, Mama.” Ugh.
I know this is a part of him growing up. I get it. He needs to grow as a person without me otherwise we’ll end up like Pink Floyd’s Mother (which is basically an anthem about Golden Penis Syndrome). I relish watching him go through different phases of his life and enjoy the evolution of our relationship. Activities, experiences, friendships - everything he’s cultivating on his own now is his. Independence is the goal, isn’t it? It’s really the strangest love of all. The most intense love I’ve ever experienced, but it’s unique, too. Its enormity is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before for anyone. This child has no idea how OBSESSED I am with every little tidbit of his life. Every act I do for him is in an effort to create an independent human, to prepare him to leave me one day and function as an adult. It’s joyous, maddening and heartbreaking all at the same time. *sigh* Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go stare at him while he's sleeping.