After the first day of camp, S was teaching me camp songs. Then the next morning, he woke up saying he couldn’t go to camp because he was too sick.
After 12 hours sleep I just didn’t think he was worse. I suspected something else.
“Let’s just go and we can tell them you won’t be coming. ”
I know when S is sick. He wasn’t. Yes he was sniffy but he was better. If this camp wasn’t so expensive maybe I would have let him stay home (though he’d be jumping off the walls because he’s not really sick.) I knew this was more about comfort levels and separation. He needed to push through. And so did I.
He conceded. Reluctantly. But got angry that I was bringing the lunch I’d packed him.
Driving over he told me he was looking forward to me telling the councilors that he was sick than going home to watch TV.
When we arrived he was greeted by the councilors. When they asked how he was, he pointed to me. I had him tell them he felt sick. “My nose is worse,” he added.
S chatted with the counselor he admitted that he was actually not sick but that he didn’t like it when Mommy sat so far away.
After much negotiating we agreed I’d sit closer but if he needed me he’d have to tell a camp counselor – not just run over. He agreed.
I sat a little farther away watching him participate – dancing, singing, playing the games. Waving to me occasionally.
Watching camp. Happy to have my eye on my love.
S whispered to a councilor who walked him over to me.
“Thanks for following the rules, ” I told him.
“Mom, can you sit a yittle closer?” he was teary.
“I can,” and I did.
After a while the kids all went in a big group to the near by bathroom.
But I stayed. I tried to trust. I ended up having a nice chat with the head counselors. They reminded me of me back in the day with my children’s theater background.
They were serving nectarines at snack (even though later S told me later they’d had peaches.) We chatted a bit more and more ended up talking about the high costs of private schools. I heard myself saying “I’m a single mom… ” Oh great, now the mom who can’t leave her kid is the single mom. Though I guarantee I’d be the same even if I were co parenting.
When it was time for the hike I waited for his little hand to wave me along, so I’d have to follow them. The hike was the part I dreaded leaving him the most. But he didn’t turn around. He just hiked along with the group. Which was great. And awful.
I’m going to take a jog I decided. I need to move this body I put on my Audible book on tape and I found myself jogging toward the hikers. I hid behind a tree for a bit. He’s fine.
Maybe the fact that my audible book began with the discovery of a murdered and mutilated 18 year old girl was making me more tense.
Then my phone rang. I picked up and headed for reception. My friend was having a problem and needed me.
20 distracted minutes later the hikers returned. S waved at me and I waved back, pretending I hadn’t been worried.
I planted myself on the bench.
If I hadn’t stayed how would I know he was laughing all through lunch? And the last one to finish eating(shocker)? I wouldn’t have seen him bonding with new kids. And I wouldn’t have seen him shout to the whole group, as they circled on the mat “Hey, what are you guys talking about?”
Omg. Why is he still eating his lunch? Why wasn’t 45 minutes enough? I can’t wait to see if he ate everything.