This afternoon was spent getting Kiddo’s footlocker packed up for Webelos camp. He leaves tomorrow afternoon and will be gone for 5 days. This feels huge to me because I’ve never allowed him to go anywhere with non-family.
I’ve channeled my anxiety over this into the preparations for the last two weeks or so. I realize that my need to do all this ‘just right’ is my way of feeling in control of a situation that literally leaves my hands (arms) in less than 12 hours. I understand my crazy but I don’t always cope with it gracefully as I might like.
Tonight, we went down the packing list item by item as we bagged and organized. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated. Kiddo is a bit distracted and I’m not as long on temper as I could be. It was a stop and start process to say the very least. This was the progress at about 80%:
Kiddo has been very affectionate today – cuddled up on the couch and next to me reading before bed. We lean hard on each other in time when one or both of us is unsure, anxious or scared. I’m doing everything I can to keep him (& myself) focused on how exciting this is going to be. I know I will cry tomorrow as soon as I am out of his sight. I miss him fiercely although it’s not an ache borne of negativity – I trust that he will be safe and have great experiences. I just feel less centered and not quite myself when he is gone.
In these moments I am always reminded of the words of Elizabeth Stone – “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
These are his first steps into what will be so many adventures that we experience separately. I look forward to hearing the stories that he will tell upon his return. This feels a lot like letting go (on some level) and it hurts like hell. Tomorrow I’ll reassure him that he’s going to have an amazing time. Tomorrow I will give him an extra long hug that will carry us both through the next 120 hours.
Tomorrow I will remind myself that my son knows his way home – and most importantly he knows that I love him.