Goodbye, my Little Camper!
Today was a big day for me…and for my oldest son. Today I drove Dalai Max to a camp full of strangers and said goodbye.
I know it isn’t goodbye forever. It is only 2 weeks. But it still felt strange. I looked at him at breakfast and realized this marked the beginning of a slow-growing independence. One day, I thought, I would be making this same kind of trip, to a college far away, and have to say goodbye.
Going to camp was his decision. I never had the opportunity to go to an overnight camp like this. The thought of it sounded thrilling to me, and I had hoped someday he would want try it. When the camp had an informational session in our home town, he enthusiastically checked it out; and now here I am, wondering if he likes his counselor or if he has made a new friend yet.
Even though it was completely Max’s decision to go, when it came time to drop him off, he looked shell-shocked. I wondered if he was OK. He had his most serious look on and could barely talk. Any question presented to him was answered in grunts. Oh, my poor, scared boy.
I thought a look around the camp would warm him up. His councilor gave us a tour. “What do you want to look at first?” I dunno. ”What activity are you the most excited about?” Ummm. ”Do you like soccer?” No. ”Do you like lacrosse?” No. Now, this is getting painful. All the while, my 8-year-old is freaking out over everything, yelling “Mom, you have to see this, it is SO AWESOME! I am SO coming here next year!” Did I send the wrong kid?
No, I know this is the perfect thing for him. I know this will boost his confidence. If it was easy, then it wouldn’t be as much of a learning experience. In the mean time, I will be anxiously awaiting my first mandatory letter from him. I hope it will be full of excitment and joy. My wish for him is that one day he will look back at these memories and think, “That was an amazing time.” Please, God, watch over my Maxie.