Monday, June 30, 2008

payback is a b@%*&ch...

I owe my parents a formal apology.

I knew that when I entered parenthood that I would experience childhood from the other side. And I know that my mother sometimes revels in the fact that with two girls, I will experience much of the torture I inflicted on her during my own teen years. (Come on, Mom... Admit it.) But I had no idea how crazy you can feel when you've been out of touch with your kid for longer than you're used to.

I have not had any communication with Samuel for more than 60 hours now. That is a long time when you consider that the absolute longest I've been away from him is about 24 hours and that is with communication. And the thing is, when he's at a sleepover, I know there's a mom taking care of him. If he's sad or cold or it's sunny, I know that someone will cheer him up, give him a coat, or slather sunscreen on him. But at camp? The counselors are teenagers. What are they going to do?

Last night I couldn't sleep. I went to bed at midnight, after checking the camp photo site just one more time before I went to bed to see if any photos of Samuel's session had been posted. Nothing. I knew they wouldn't post on Shabbat, but thought for sure someone would post on Saturday night. I went to bed and watched the clock hit 1am and then at 2am, Boaz, who had been out playing poker came home.

"Hey, how many postcards have you sent Samuel?" I asked him.

"He's only gone for five days. You signed my name to the package, right?" he said.

"Uh huh," I said. "Totally. The package."

B looked at me funny and asked, "How many cards and packages did you send him?"

"Do you think four is too many?"

"Um, no. That's only two for everyday he's been gone so far."

"Okay, then. I've actually sent him five."

At 3am, I checked the photo site again to see if by chance, whoever it is who posts the photos had the same case of insomnia I did and had decided to post photos of my child's session online. In the middle of the night.


So then at 3:15 I started going down the list of horrible ways he could've gone missing between watching him walk onto the bus and arriving at camp.

Rationally, I know he's fine. It's a great camp, we know the director, and Samuel knew a third of the kids even before he left. It's the hysterical part of me that is, well, sort of hysterical.

At 8:30am, the phone rings and I lunge for it. It's Kim, who has also sent her oldest son to camp for the first time.

"What's up with the site?" she asks. "Why aren't they posting the photos?!"

Together we go over how it is impossible (right?) for the kids to have gotten lost between the bus and camp. We consider how bad it would be to call the camp and ask them what could possibly be more important than posting those photos on the site. NOW!

And then we realize that really, this five day session is seriously a growing experience for us, too. This is only the very, very beginning of the episodes where we wonder where are kids are, what they're doing, and what kinds of decisions they're making. Granted, these guys are eight, but it hit me hard that these little kids are not going to be little forever.

They're going to move on and have lives of their own. And I'm going to have to deal with it and let them grow up.

Maybe with practice, I can aspire to be the mom who jumps up and down happily and spa-bound as the camp bus pulls away. Or even just not be a total basket case.

But in the meantime, I am going to apologize to my parents. I'm sorry, Dad, for the time I drove cross-country and went days without calling you to tell you where I was without even thinking about how you felt. And I'm sorry, Mom, for going out in high school and lying to you about where I went. And I'm sorry I thought you both overreacted terribly and dramatically and totally unnecessarily in each one of those situations.

Payback sucks. Think I'll go check the site again for photos...


Shannon said...

Aw. You poor thing. I'll add my mind-power to yours, and maybe between the two of us we can will them to get on the stick and post some freaking pictures already.

(Let me know when I can stop concentrating.)

amy said...

Thanks for the mind-power, Shannon! They've posted the pictures and he's been sighted! I can now get some sleep... ;)

Shannon said...

Anytime. Anytime.

Marketing Mama said...

What a great post. I totally understand the obsessive thinking on this. I love that you can see pics of them at camp - and you are the best mom ever to send him so many packages! :)