Sunday, May 16, 2010
Science Camp!!!!! a.k.a. Or another way to kill Mothers
Last week was Science Camp for the 5th Graders or as we called it at my house: Mommy Melt-Down Week.
Dear God, it’s only Science Camp, right? Did it really require 17 “orientation” meetings? And did I mention the ridiculousLY extensive multi-store shopping requiring two full pages of check lists? Then the packing, labeling with sharpies (although I must say, I do love a chance to use a Sharpie), sealing of the hefty bags, etc, etc, etc, etc #etc?
Let me tell you, it was stressful because my 10 year old and my 7 year old have NEVER been away from each other. So the night before, of course there was melt down. Blondie’s not mine (for once).
Blondie, is a soft, gentle, shy kid with a really big heart and a passion for math and science. Otherwise, she would have stayed home, curled in the warm softness of the maternal bosom.
Except this kid REALLY (and oddly) loves Science.
So there we are the night before with Blondie out of her mind with a full blown anxiety attack -- her little face was all crumpled with sobbing, while she was clinging to me, wailing . . . “I really want to go but I can’t be away from my family.”
So there was lots of cheerleading (Ah no . . . there was no cute outfit, rather a very old nightie from JC Pennys) with pom poms (okay, there were no pom poms either, but I do have big boobs) and she finally got to sleep at 11:00 p.m., her little body shuddering with the exhaustive sobs.
And the next morning not only was she up, but she was packed and waiting at the door a full hour before we needed to leave the house. (God, if only she had the same attitude about picking up her crap that she had about being on time.)
Massive excitement at the school, me with the video cam, sleeping bags and pillows everywhere.
In the background of course was me begging the 5th grade teachers and authorities in charge to PLEASE take the 7 year old also, I would donate LOTS of money, but sadly, they just kept shaking their heads “no”.
Lots of hugs and kisses and “I love you’s” then the buses pulled out the parking lot.
Whoo Hoo!!! Whoo Hoo!!!
I just knew this marked a huge shift in our family.
This was a milestone event that was going to move us to a greater level of independence. For all of us. #damnit
Cuz the Little Sis was going to have to learn to sleep without her Big Sis in the top bunk. And Blondie was going to have to learn to sleep without LiL Sis in the bottom bunk.
And it was all going to be good, good, good.
Turned it was weird, weird, weird.
Cuz there was no contact. No cell phones, no phone calls.
So I worried. And I thought about her. And I was excited for her. And I missed her. And I had this weird feeling in my stomach that I’ve NEVER had before . . . I hurt with longing.
By Thursday, when I wanted to call the camp my husband said: Don’t be THAT Mom. (Really? Cuz, ah, I totally AM that Mom.) But I resisted.
So that night I started counting the hours until I could see her. And when I woke up at 6 am on Friday morning, my first thought was: 7 more hours. And I counted down.
I too was at the school an hour early. (It must be a familial trait, this obsession with earliness.)
When those kids came off the bus, I was so excited. (And slightly overwhelmed by the odor, but that’s another blog . . . you know, one called: My Smelly Tween.)
There was my little, red-faced, sweaty Blondie in my arms, hugging me hard.
And I was happy. And I was whole.
And I swore I would never yell at my kids or wish they were grown up and out of the house ever again.
I would treasure every moment we had together.
Ya, that lasted about a whole effing hour.
“Hello SleepAway Camp? Do you take 7 year olds? I’ll pay an “upcharge” . . .”