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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gone camping


Annie is away at camp until Friday. We dropped her off around 2:45pm on Sunday and by 5:30pm that same day, I was missing her.

It could have had something to do with the fact that the boys (all 3 of them!) were driving me straight up the banana tree with their over-the-top energy, their boy humor -- think burps and farts -- and Star Wars/Spongebob quote fest. But mostly I think it was that not being able to talk to her for five days just seems like so long.

Curiously, the way I'm feeling is a little how I felt when she went to kindergarten. In preschool, when I picked her up there was always a sign outside the door telling me of all the day's activities. I could chat with the teachers about how her day was. When she went to kindergarten, no one sent home a daily note with a list of what they did in art and whether they had math or reading centers and if she ate a good lunch that day. I felt a little bit lost and disconnected, kind of like I'm feeling not having a chance to talk or text or e-mail her until the close of camp on Friday.

Annie's been to sleep-away camp once before. But at that camp, they would post pictures each night of what had happened throughout the camp, so I could at least look for her among all the other girls. For this camp, we can send letters and e-mails, which are printed out and given to our camper. But it's a one-way street. There's no writing back. That's ok because she is most likely too busy swimming and canoeing and all those things you go to camp to do.

As ok as it is, it's a little hard for this Mom-of-oldest-child-at-camp to get used to. I think of her several times a day, wondering what's she's doing right then. She was a little nervous when we dropped her off; so I worry a bit that she's homesick, though she's there with a friend and I'm sure having a great time.

I don't consider myself a hovering, overprotective parent, so I'm kind of surprised that I'm feeling this way. I guess it's just one of those million little separations we help our kids make on their way to one day leaving the nest. I'll get over it, or maybe just get used to it, I'm sure.

And next year, when I send the boys off to camp with her (they were begging to stay when we dropped off Annie), instead of being sad, I'll probably throw a party underneath that banana tree.


Eternal Lizdom said...

The day will come when Teagan goes off to church camp... and I can totally imagine how you are feeling.

I bet you are sending her e-mails, though! And I bet she appreciates them.

I think missin gher is a great sign of the relationship the 2 of you have with each other.

Mike Magan said...

Reminds me of the episode when SpongeBob sent Gary to pet camp.

Donna R. said...

My son Matt was at a week long camp for the first time at age 11. This camp was 8 hours away and I was nervous for him. He called us once because he was homesick. He was so funny his exact words were "They told us we could call home only if we were bleeding out our eyes, but I missed you guys and wanted to hear your voices." We talked to him and he told us all the fun things he was doing at camp. He still talks about his first away camp and how proud he was to be doing something grown-up. He is 20 years old now. It is great that you have such a great relationship with Annie! She will have so many wonderful memories from camp.

Sharon said...

Do you think it's harder too because she is your daughter? I mean, do you think you feel a different connection w/ her because you're both girls, and boys are different?
I think I'd have a harder time sending my daughter off than my son, but I don't have a daughter, so who knows.
My boys are the same as you described yours. And most days, it drives me up the wall, too.

varangianguard said...

Mike, Funny (and no doubt true)

Amy. You have Sikorsky written all over you. (For the lazy, that's a helicopter). lol