I sit in a darkened room with a lone magnifying lamp trying to sort through my thoughts, images lost in my head. It is only Wednesday and I feel like I’ve run for miles; lethargic. The gravitational pull of the moon is sapping all of my energy allowing my mind to remain idle. This. Is. Rare.
It all happened in a blink of an eye. The rolling suitcases and black trash bags, containing sleeping bags and pillows, loaded on the “luggage” bus; the quick group picture. I had just enough time to snag my son for a quick snapshot, then he boarded the bus never looking back. I found myself behind the lens, removed from the scene, the shutter snapping continuously as I watched the buses pull away. A lone hand through the window was the only indication that my son knew where I was. There were no goodbyes, no “I love you/miss yous.” It took a mere fifteen minutes.
Where does childhood go? The toddler who split his chin open falling off equipment at the park; needing stitches? The kid who ran smack into a cactus and stayed completely still as a fellow Dad painstakingly plucked the needles out alongside me? The baby who always patted my back with a big hug and ready smile?
I realized, standing by our school’s flagpole, that that child has gone; emerging into a thing unknown. It is neither good, nor bad. It just IS. I hoped he would maneuver amongst his peers with our morals and values with him. It is easy, when taken out of your comfort zone; your element, to test the parameters and push the limits. I prayed that his compass always pointed north; to God, his family. That I was in his head.
“Don’t lay down your values, expect your son to follow them, and then act differently yourself…Being a credible role model depends on you consistently demonstrating the core values you believe in and want him to practice.”~ Rosalind Wiseman, Masterminds & Wingmen.
Today the hubs and I huddled around the computer at work, constantly refreshing the page as we watched our son’s school appear before the camp webcam. My cell rang and I walked a fellow mom through the web to the science camp webpage. Two years prior I had sat with two moms. One had tears even before the kids came onto the screen; relaying that a day earlier wasps that had flown into her daughter’s hair and she had received a call. Her daughter had been okay. At the end of that five minute webcam session, as the stills showed the kids being led away, we were surprised to note one child remained faced towards our computer screen. It was my girlfriend who noted it was mine; delaying before he headed out with the rest of the group. And so today we watched our younger sons stand together; the stills showing my son constantly talking to his friend. As we chattered and refreshed the webpage from different computers I noted our younger sons trying to delay; standing still so that we would see them.