The girls were away at camp this past week. It was only three nights, but it felt like an awfully long time. I picked them up yesterday. I have to admit that my first feeling was relief. There were smiles on their faces and they were all a-chatter about what they had done and seen. They both eagerly reported that they’d go again next year… in a heartbeat. And my son was eager to add that he’d be going next year, too!
Little boy and I had a lot of quality time this week. It wasn’t, perhaps, as exciting and fun as I had hoped to make it, but he mentioned more than once that it was nice to have total control over the computer, the game cube, AND the television, without anyone bothering him about taking so much time. He and I worked on a project we’ve talked about for months – making a wooden sword and shield. We walked to the store together one afternoon. We visited our local fiber arts specialist and he completed one of his 4-H projects – a woven rug. We got in a LOT of conversation about the myriad of things my son likes to converse about… war, swords, shields, cannons, guns, prehistoric man, evolution, brains, imagination, movies, scientists, theories, tying knots in woven rugs … My ears got quite the workout.
So I guess my routine was a little mixed up this week. It wasn’t that I was truly anxious about the girls being gone, but there were moments when I just wanted to see them again. Late at night, I think, is when I would feel it most. There’s a comfort knowing your kids are all under one roof, sleeping soundly or at least going about their usual nightly routines. I’d find myself lying there in the dark, trying to imagine their cabins at camp and wondering if they were too hot or too cold, wondering if they’d made new friends that day, wondering if they’d remembered to use their sunscreen or to check for ticks after hiking, wondering if they were feeling homesick… even just a little bit… the way I was feeling a little heart sick for them being gone.
The morning we drove to pick them up, my stomach was churning all over the place. Maybe it was the two baskets of French fries I’d devoured at Red Robin (I used to think adults didn’t eat stuff like French fries because they were watching their weight – I’m beginning to think near middle-aged bodies and things like French fries just don’t mix). Anyway, it made the drive long for having to stop so frequently. And I started feeling better almost as soon as I had the girls in the car again. Coincidence and timing? I don’t know. I like to think I’m pretty laid back about these things. (I’d also like to think I’m still capable of enjoying a basket of fries.)
None-the-less, my kids are all at home again and I’m feeling as placid and peaceful as I have felt all week. As much as a mom sometimes dreams of moments of complete quiet, I think it’s easier on the mind and heart, having a full nest most of the time.