This is Tommy and Joey. My two oldest boys. I understand some time may have passed since these photos were taken but this is pretty much how I still see them.
So, you will understand my concern when my two oldest babies came to me this past spring begging to go to Boy Scout camp in summer. The very first thought that popped into my head was, "Oh, HELL to the no." Before you judge me take another look at the pictures above. My babies, people. Okay?
Todd, on the other hand, seemed to think it was a fabulous idea. He kept spewing stuff about how it will be "good for them" and blah, blah, blah. I don't know. I didn't hear half of it. All I could think of was "My babies!"
Apparently, my argument for not letting them go, "Because I don't want them to!", didn't hold up and the boys were signed up for camp.
This past week the preparations were made. Travel sized toiletries, bug spray, and sunscreen were purchased, along with brand new flashlights and batteries, camp chairs, and healthy snacks. Wednesday morning came and together the boys and I packed up the suitcases with their clothes and made sure they had every last thing they needed.
The boys knew I wasn't a huge fan of letting them go. "I know you two will be fine." I told them. "I just like being the one taking care of you." I didn't happen to mention the fact that I don't trust anyone else to take care of my babies like I do. And I know bad things could still happen if my kids were with me but at least I would be with them.
"I know mom." Joey said. "But, you know when you just sometimes want to be by yourself? Yeah. I am kind of like that too. No offense to you or anything. I just like to, ya know, be by myself sometimes." I nodded and told him I understood.
"Yeah, mom. I'm gonna miss you, but I really want to go off on my own. When I'm by myself I feel kinda proud of myself and grown up and stuff. No offense." Tommy told me. I wasn't offended. I was proud. And I let them know it.
To make myself feel a little better, and because I'm paranoid, the kids and I read "I Said No" yet again. The perfect book that makes them feel empowered without freaking them out. They love that book. I love that book. I think we both felt better after reading it again.
We went over rules. We went over safety. We talked about how they are representing not only themselves but their family too and they need to be the good boys we know they are.
Then it was all over but the crying. Okay, fine, I didn't cry. I held it together for them. But I wanted to cry.
See? Babies, people! MY babies!
The boys let me hug and kiss all over them for a good, long time before they left.
Joey's camp is two hours away and he was the first to leave at 11:00. Tommy soon followed at 12:30 to set off for his camp 30 minutes from us. An hour later Grace heard a car door outside and she excitedly said, "Are the boys back?" I explained the boys would not be home for a few days and she told me she missed them already. Ben and I agreed.
I've been checking the weather at both of the camps incessantly. There have been thunderstorms. I'm sure Tommy was fine in his cabin, but Joey and his troop were staying in tents. And I can't call them. I don't like that. If I could just talk to them and hear how they are doing that would help. But no.
So, I worry. It's what I do.
It's been weird around here. So much quieter. You'd think I'd enjoy that but I don't. It's eerie. Ben and Grace play calmly with each other and bore quickly. Mealtimes and bedtimes go so much faster. Playing outside isn't as thrilling. Even going swimming wasn't as much fun without Tommy and Joey with us. And to think we have a whole other day and night to get through yet.
It's not the same around here without them. We are ready for them to be home. I want my babies back. I don't like this whole growing up thing. I'm not good at letting go no matter how slowly I have to learn how to do it.
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