In fourteen days, my kids will leave for sleepaway camp. You’d think I’d be excited. They are going to have this incredible experience, make lifelong friends, enjoy the mountains, and a lake, and the camaraderie that’s practically exclusive to being at camp.
You’d think I’d be looking forward to having some time alone with my husband. To enjoying evenings out without worrying about a babysitter. To getting to read the paper on the actual day it comes out. (Most of my news comes to me in the back seat of a cab!) To not having to say “brush your teeth, have you had a shower lately” or “how did a cream cheese sandwich end up under your bed?”
Well, I’m not doing that. Me, being me after all, well all I’m doing is bursting into tears every five minutes.
I guess I’m selfish. I don’t want them to leave me. My husband keeps on telling me that they’ll be fine. I know they‘ll be fine. They’ll be great. I’m the one I’m worried about. Since I have twins, they’re both leaving me at once. And so, being me again, I start to think about when they’ll leave me emotionally – when they both start to care way more about their friends then they do about me – at the same time. I think about when they’ll leave me intellectually, when they’ll both start to think they know everything and their father and I know nothing — at the same time. When they’ll leave me physically to go to college — at the same time.
At the same time – I’m happy for them. I am. I loved camp and I know they will too. I’m just sad for me. Because it isn’t just that they’re leaving for camp. It’s that they’re old enough to leave for camp. It’s that this is just the beginning of them really, truly becoming independent and separating from me. Which is healthy, and wonderful, and what a parent hopes their child will do.
And kind of wishes will never happen.