He didn’t eat much in his lunch at all, yesterday. So today I gave him fruit leather and cucumbers and bagel with cream cheese. I mellowed out on all the produce.
We were late to camp again.
I walked him into camp. One counselor told me that yesterday they’d seen 2 rattle snakes mating in their path. I tried not to freak out but I dropped his sunscreen stick in the sand. “We will take a different route today,” she told me and whisked him off to let him use their stick and I told S “I’m going to move my car.”
I took my time returning. A half hour. When I got back he was dancing in a circle. I waited to see if he was looking for me. He wasn’t.
I sat at a far table behind a play structure- a little closer than the far place. If S was looking for me, he’d be able to see me here.
Another couple was already seated at this table so I picked the farthest spot from them.
“So… What kind of games do you like?” the dude asked the lady.
Oh. They were on a date. Fantastic.
The woman was quiet. She shrugged.
“Chess? I bet you’re good at chess.”
She shook her head.
“No? You don’t play chess? But you are so smart with all your degrees…”
I watched my boy dancing his little dance I loved so much- his elbows pumping up and down, legs practically jigging.
He never looked for me. Even when the group went to the bathroom we didn’t see me.
I tried to position myself so he could see me on his way back. After all I had told him I’d go sit on the close bench when I got back from moving my car. Did he think I’d left him? Did he think I’d lied? Was I reading too much into it?
When he ran back from the bathroom he seemed great- playing and interacting with kids. I waved. He didn’t see me. He seemed fine.
I resumed my audible murder mystery.
After a while of my kid happily forgetting all about me (and for all he knows I’m lying in a ditch somewhere) the group lined up for their hike.
I got a phone call that distracted me as they took a trail in a different direction. Oh god. Trust. Relax. It will be ok. Fuck. They were gone forever. Snakes. Rattlesnakes. And that’s not me being crazy. That’s real. There are rattlesnake sightings and warnings.
Where are those shirts? Looking for those bright orange shirts. Come on. Come back.
A very young couple walked by. “I didn’t know a valley girl was a real thing.” He said. “Is that like a Malibu valley girl?”
Another group by walked by me talking about the drought.
Another group walked by talking about going through dead relatives toiletries.
And then I saw the shirts.
Watching him from a distance chanting camp songs “I said a boom chick a boom…”
But seriously, was he worried about me? Did he think I’d abandoned him?
I got up to walk around and a couple took my new bench.
I watched S climb down a steep rock step then balance on the edge of a bridge. Had I’d been there I’d have stopped him as a fall would have lead to a skull cracking on a rock. But did it and didn’t fall. Then ran right by me.
He went back to camp.
A while later I went to the bathroom and on my way back he finally saw me. “Mom!!” He shouted.
I was thrilled. Too thrilled. I waved back and he went back to the project at hand. I went back to my bench.
The day felt long as I sat and listened to my book and walked around so I wouldn’t be sedentary. I wrote emails and looked up actors on my phone.
After camp S seemed happy. It only took 20 minutes for him to say “and why did you sit so far away?”
“There was someone at my close bench,” I told him.
“Oh,” he replied.
Tomorrow would be the last day of camp.