My Separation Anxiety

My boy is going to a sleep-away camp this Summer for the first time and I’m a wreck.  I don’t know why, though.  I’ve never had separation anxiety before, never had a problem being away from him for hours or even days.  In fact, when the hubs and I go out alone together, he’ll ask a few times, “I wonder what he’s doing now,” or say “I miss him,” and my response is always, “Who? Oh, right, we have a son…”

I’m not worried he’s going to have a bad time.  He’s going to have so much fun with all the activities available to him and he’s going to be there with several of his friends.  I’m so excited for him to go and experience this!  I never went to sleep away camp, but the hubs did and has many fond memories and friendships that lasted for decades afterward.

B is convinced that he’s never going to college and I’m sure that going to camp is going to change his mind.  The freedom (i.e. no mom or dad correcting him, pick his own activities, get himself to where he needs to be) in a controlled environment (i.e. counselors in charge and there for help, curfews, bunkhouses and dining halls provided, etc.) is somewhat similar to college and and see that going away is fun and maturing.  This is a big positive to me of him going.

I’ve left him with friends, family and even strangers (Sunday school, Summer day camps) for years and haven’t had any problems once I met them, talked to them about his allergies, found out who will be holding his epi-pens and their knowledge and comfortability with administering them.

Over lunch this afternoon, we talked about the things that he needs to stay on top of that can be hit or miss at home without being reminded: putting on his deodorant, wearing underwear daily, wearing clean underwear.  I let him know about the number of people per room and that they will share one bathroom.  I asked if he had any questions or concerns at this time and he didn’t.  I told him I did: him getting sunburned and mosquito bites.  He replied, “Yeah, you’re right.  I’ll bring sunscreen and bug spray with me.”  “That’s a good idea, but you can’t just bring it; you have to use it.”  “Oooo-kaaay, Ma.”  I give him credit for not physically rolling his eyes, but I heard it in his voice.  ;o)

I also told him that I was worried about ticks.  So many people where we live have Lyme disease and we have been lucky so far.  I told him that we’ll go over thoroughly checking himself and give him a hand mirror to look at places not easy to see (armpits and manly bits).  I was asking him to think about whether or not he felt comfortable asking his friend who is rooming with him if he could check B’s hair for ticks at night and B would check his friend’s hair when I lost it.  I just started blubbering!  What is wrong with me!

Is it that this is another milestone that drives home, once again, how quickly he is growing up?  I don’t know how I’m going to handle not talking to him every day!  He’s not allowed to take his phone.  If they find out he has one it will be confiscated.  Do they have pay phones the kids can use? Can I send him with a calling card so he can call if he wants to?

We both need this and I hope all my blubbering and worrying ends once he’s down there.  Although, the drive home after we drop him off will be the worst!

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