Sleepaway Camp

by Stefani on 22-June-2009

Well it's official. My oldest boy is now firmly tucked away in the woods, off on his first sleepaway camp adventure.


He's Off 

He has a mama-made laundry bag that he will probably not use. He's got his Papa's old Boy Scout canteen, complete with a new strap. He's got his cousins in the same cabin with him, a new pocket knife hanging from his belt loop and a week full of fun stretched out before him. And I know for sure that he has everything he could possibly need because I fretted over the packing list for not less than a month. 

I'm sure he's having the time of his life. He's probably not bathing and has already spent all his pocket money on soda and candy bars. I'm sure he's giggling non stop at endless boy potty humor and grinning ear to ear over his bigness. 

I'm thrilled for him really. I have such great camp memories and can't wait to hear all about the ones that he makes. 

Bunk House

As for me though… this is not so fun. I'm seeing that it is a lot more fun to be the camp dropee than it is to be the camp dropper. 

I'm busy with his brothers and life as usual… laundry, lists, hands to hold and feats to accomplish. But I keep wondering what he's doing. Is he too hot? Is he making friends? Is he happy, scared, lonely, excited? I keep fast forwarding and wondering how on earth I will manage it next year when his younger brother goes, or even worse, when it isn't just camp, but college and it will be months before I see him. It's been less than 24 hours and I miss him something awful, and of course I'm asking that question that seems like a VERY recurring theme in this whole business of child-rearing – "Why do they have to get so big so fast?"

I know. Silly. But it's who I am. It's what I do. 

Thankfully I have two young men left who have LOTS of plans to keep me busy. They have deemed this week "Camp Goofball" at our house. They've got lists of things that we absolutely MUST do – rollerskating, doughnut making, lake day and more. 

So I'm off to gather myself up by the flip flop straps,slather on some sunscreen and forge ahead. 

Happy Monday folks!
Mary-- The Yellow Door Paperie June 22, 2009 at 6:39 am

Congratulations. What a big feat for both of you!

pink and green mama June 22, 2009 at 6:52 am

Wow!! What a rite of passage…I’m so not ready for that one yet. We’re having our own “rainbow camp” at home this week : ) I’ll post updates on my blog.
We’re loving our new wooden friends, thank you again!!

Toni June 22, 2009 at 7:17 am

WOW! Brave momma!! My 13 yr. old is heading off for camp for the week. It will be our first camp experience. I volunteered for two days at the camp cause I feel the need to be close. I’m such a wimp!!!

BOATBABY June 22, 2009 at 7:22 am

My heart ached when I read this. *sigh* I would feel the same way mama – hugs to you!

But at the same time I smile, thinking of the amazing memories I made at sleepover camp many moons ago… my best, oldest friend that I met there at age 8 is still in my life.

My son peeked over my shoulder at the photo you posted and said, “Wow those boys are having FUN!”

Amber June 22, 2009 at 7:28 am

Why DO they need to get so big so fast? I’m getting sniffly on your behalf when I read this. I wish these things didn’t always come before Mama was ready. Sigh.

Tammy June 22, 2009 at 8:02 am

Oh, what a great time for both of you. My 15 year old hasn’t been to camp for a few years, but suddenly decided this year that she wanted to go back…

Monkey Lobster June 22, 2009 at 8:30 am

Congrats! big step for mom. I am an ex camp director, this year I am back at a new camp. not as director……what a relief. for me, I get to let my kids go to camp but be there too. we all get camp fun. and oh how fun it is.

My family heads out there tomorrow, and for the next 8 weeks, yippeeee! I’m sure we’ll have a lot to write home (blog) about. i’m eager to hear about your boys’ experience. what camp is it?

Robyn June 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

I can feel your pain. I had the very same thoughts this past weekend as all three were with their grandparents. I told my husband if this is what empty next feels like we better have some more b/c I’m not sure I want empty nest. However, they must grow up and continue on the cycle of life with our support and blessings. Hang in there mom, it appears you are doing a great job!

steadymom June 22, 2009 at 11:01 am

Oh, bless you. I’m not looking forward to this phase in my life. Glad it’s a few years away (like maybe 18?!)

Jamie June 22, 2009 at 11:09 am

AW! This is such a bittersweet story. I completely “feel” your conflict. I have 1 boy and it’s excrutiating watching him get bigger and watching him grow up and away. The expression should be grow away because sometimes, not always, that’s what happens.
I’m lucky to have 2 wonderful step daughters, 1 at college and 1 going to college, so we have practice, but it really does seem like a blink and then they’re gone. Seems like we were going to concerts and having sleep overs with giggling girls all over the house and now, we barely hear from one girl.
Congratulations on another milestone, here’s hoping there will be lot’s of grand babies to hold!

Dawn Suzette June 22, 2009 at 11:12 am

Wow! That is a big deal! I never got to go to camp and I think I am pretty determined that I want to make sure my kids have those camp memories everyone talks about!

Tracy June 22, 2009 at 11:20 am

Wow, a week is a long time! My son went to sleep-away camp for 2 nights one year ago, and it was dreadful for me, mostly because he was reluctant about the whole thing, too. The hardest day for me was the second day, when I woke up and realized I wouldn’t see him at all that day. That was a horrible feeling.

Good for you for letting him go. Being a good mama can be really hard on the mama, you know?

angela June 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I totally understand, just remember you raised a great smart boy!!!

Kez June 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Oh you poor thing 🙁 Luckily I still have a few years before I have to get to that stage..

Cassandra June 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm

What fun! We don’t have any camps around here, but I remember a couple of my own VERY fondly.

Jade June 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm

oh camp! i never really went myself but would love for my kids to go. 🙂

Treemama June 23, 2009 at 3:52 am

why does it seem everyone i read around the blogosphere this week is mourning their little ones growing up. oh, i suppose it’s a maternal duty.

i don’t think i would ever get my girls to go, but then i’d be spared the heartache wouldn’t i!

hang in there!

Anne June 23, 2009 at 5:46 am

Ugh, it’s not fair this growing up stuff.
I’m sure he is missing you just as much and yes, he spent all his money on soda and candy bars.

Christina June 23, 2009 at 6:02 am

Oh, I dread the day I let my babies go off without me!

And, yes, every day I look at the kids and wonder where the time is going!

Emily Cole June 23, 2009 at 7:52 am

Oh my gosh!! I just posted about the exact same thing… I am so excited that she’s away at camp, but also wondering every minute how she’s doing and if she’s having fun and behaving herself… Stuff… It’s such a weird feeling.

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:26 am

Ha! If you could see my red and blotchy face you would know that I’m nothing near brave 🙂

Erin | house on hill road June 24, 2009 at 5:18 am

ok, just having done this, i want you to know that you will feel so much better when the first postcard or letter comes home. even if it just says, “i like camp” like kate’s did. and then prepare yourself for the laundry. it is unlike anything you have ever seen. seriously.

darlene June 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm

my nine year old daughter has the possibility to go to camp…i am really struggling about the thought of letting her go! you are definatley not the only one!

Relyn June 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Oh, it comes so quickly doesn’t it? We don’t have sleepaway camp yet, but our own version of it. Sloane is going to spend a week in Oregon with her cousins. Without us. My stomach churns just thinking about it. I trust them, I love them, I’m so happy for her to have this chance. BUT. My little girl…..Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Helen June 25, 2009 at 11:43 am

Ah sweet summer.

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