Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stuck in the Middle With You

I can't decide if I am happy right now or sad. Tomorrow McRae leaves for five (count 'em FIVE) glorious days of summer camp. The first time he has ever gone away for summer camp overnight, not just day camp.

Today we spent most of our time organizing and packing his things and it struck me, he is going away. As in, we won't be there. As in, I won't be shoving the recommended daily allowances of fruits, vegetables and salty foods down his throat. As in, I won't see him laugh, smile and torture his brother. As in, I won't run my fingers through his blonde mop and kiss him on the forehead at bedtime. As in, he won't be the first one up to let the dog out and feed him.

I guess that means I'll have to do that.

I have been asking him each day for the past few days if he is excited about camp. "Yeah mom!" Has been his answer, each and every time. I don't know what I am looking for, a hesitation, maybe? A little bit of I am gonna miss you mom, maybe? A little bit of apprehension, maybe?

Fact is, he is excited. He isn't worried and neither should I.

But that's my job, isn't it? To worry?

This weekend we went to a graduation party for Brett's cousin. This little girl (a'hem, 18-year-old girl) was born when we were dating in high school and we used to babysit her. Anna Banana, we called her as we snuggled her like she was our own, pretend baby (because we were 16 and 17 ourselves). Anyway, now she's all grown-up and a full-fledged adult.

God, I feel old.

Her party was a family affair, held at a community center complete with a band (and it didn't matter that I could not understand a word of the Spanish they were speaking - thanks a lot high school foreign language classes - they were incredible), authentic Mexican food, cowboys, high heels, love, laughter and everywhere you turned someone was smiling.

Once the music started, the dancing began and we sat at our table, tapping our feet and getting into the music. There sat McRae, next to me thumping his hands on his thighs along with the beat! Shocking, really, because all this time he has avoided dancing around the house and grooving in the car like he was given a dance repellent at birth. All this time, I thought Wyatt was my only child who had killer dance moves. All this time, I was wrong.

He grabbed my hand, he in his Hawaiian shirt and me in my new high heels, and out we went into the sea of cowboy boots and short skirts. And you know what? That boy can dance! We wiggled and jumped around like we had been doing these dances all our lives, my son and I and every now and then he'd jump on the floor and spin around then pop right back up like someone who had been through Breakdance Academy. Seriously. I don't know where this came from, but it was hilarious.

The onlookers cheered him on and clapped each time, egging him on. And he loved it. And even though he already owns a substantial amount of real estate in my heart, he managed to buy even more.

So why should I be worried about camp? If the kid can impress a bunch of strangers on the dance floor, I think he can handle 5 nights away at summer camp.

I know I'll miss him. I know tomorrow night when Wyatt turns off his light and yells "goodnight" to each of us by name (just like on The Walton's) and I don't hear McRae's name, I'll be a little heartbroken.

But then I'll smile a little and think of him tearing it up on the dance floor.

And I know he'll be okay.

Tell me he'll be okay.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is what I find when one kid leaves for a week--our whole family dynamic changes and it's really fun. Focus on that!

jen said...

he will be more than ok. he will be fantastic. he will soar.

Anonymous said...






And time dances on.


Anonymous said...

Of course he'll be ok. Every story about shows what a great little man he is. He'll have a great time, miss you and never admit it when he gets back. Now I just hope that YOU'RE ok!

flutter said...

he's going to be awesome

Mel said...

He'll have a blast. And he'll be great. Don't you worry, mama.

Christy said...

What you wrote is really beautiful...very nicely done! He will be great--he's going to have so much fun, and the time will probably fly by for him. Now you, I'm not so sure about (the time flying by, that is.) Maybe you should load up on activities to keep yourself busy...or drink...there's always alcohol to turn to! lol

First Rough Draft said...

He is going to have SO MUCH fun. The weeks I spent at summer camp are some of my best childhood memories. I only wish I had been able to go more often. I can't wait to give that experience to my own children. The week of separation will be much harder on you than him!

Kyla said...

5 days! My mommy heart is sad for you. When BubTar does a double night sleepover I'm climbing the walls by the time he gets back home.

But I know, just like you know, he will be fine and have an absolute blast.

Queen of the Mayhem said...


Now you return the favor when I lose my mind this fall as Junior BABY....the last one I have...starts kindergarten!


MoOsE said...

oh so sweet. It is hard to see them leave like that and to know they are growing up. He will have fun and it will be amazing to hear all of his stories :)

Becky said...

he will totally be ok:)

Every Day Goddess said...

He will have so much fun!! You will miss him, but I find it is like a mini vacation at home when one is gone for a couple days. The other two discover each others company ;)

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Sorry, that moose comment was from me :)

Sandy C. said...

Aww, what a sweet post. He will be okay. But I feel you. My little one is leaving for preschool this week....*wipes tear* So bittersweet!

OHmommy said...

He is going to be ok and LOVE it.

Tell me more about the new high heels!

Family Adventure said...

He will be GREAT. Christopher went for the first time last year and loved it! He is going again this year. I tell you, the first year is the hardest for the mommy. Deep breaths!


Tracey said...

Parenting is just a constant pulling away by our children... And it hurts! Even though it's for the better good, it really doesn't feel that great...

Hope he has a blast at camp and that you handle it well!

Jen said...

What a sweet post. Of course he will be ok!!

I always wished that I had the chance to go to camp, but my mom was too protective for that. I kind of feel like I missed out on something wonderful. Good for you for giving him this experience!

alice c said...

I think of it like vaccination - each time they go away they are learning skills to keep them safe as they become more independent. He will have a great time - and so will you when you hear all about his adventures when he comes home.