Yes, I was that mom that could barely get enough strength to leave camp this morning and get on with my day. The one who had tears in her eyes, the one whose heart you could hear pounding and the mom who looked sad and mournful. I know what you are thinking. How could I be mourning my new found freedom of having three kids in camp? Why wasn’t I shouting “Hooray” and celebrating my day ahead sans kids?
Believe me when I tell you I woke up with the same thoughts and was beyond joyful to have a day to myself. It all changed though when I said my goodbyes and saw my ‘not so baby baby’ standing in a sea of children. He would be without me for a full day. Would he tell someone he had to go potty? What if he was hungry for a snack? Would he miss me? Would he need me? What if he didn’t miss me? What if he didn’t need me? When did he become three? All these questions came flooding into my brain and I realized the enormity of this moment.
My son goes to school three days a week so why was dropping him at camp so difficult for me? Well, this is the first summer my little guy is off to camp. So not a big deal, I know, but kind of a big deal to me. He is attending two weeks of camp with his brothers, ages six and eight, and I swear it was yesterday that I dropped my older boys at the same camp, while holding him in a sling.
Before my son could spot me stalking him, I forced myself to leave, get in my car and drive away. I had my phone glued to me all day in case there were any problems in camp. Turns out he had a great time of course, just as I knew he would.
We tend to think of camp as a break for us parents, but it is really a break for our kids from us, which is a good thing. Parenting is always changing and change can be hard but in my experience, it can also be a great gift.
Parenting can also be extremely confusing on our emotions. There are times we want to fast forward the baby and toddler stage to get some time to breathe, but then when it arrives, we look for that rewind button, which doesn’t exist. Can’t win, right?
Whether you are the mom that is going to barely slow down the car and shove your kids out the door (which may very well be me tomorrow), or the mom that is going to linger and prolong your goodbyes while reaching for your tissues, camp is here. It’s time to let go and then go, as fast as you can to your car and enjoy your kidless day.
Happy Summer everyone!
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD!™