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Overcoming my homesickness…

by Julia Bendis

October 18, 2011 | 6:10 pm

This morning was a bit of a somber morning for me…  Our six-grader headed out to a four-day overnight Science camp today!  I have to emphasize the OVERNIGHT part since it was the only thing I heard when first learning about this little adventure, which might as well had said a six-month-overnight-camp.  It all sounds the same to me, because all I hear is: my child will be without his Mommy!  It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t called me that in years, I still think of him as a three-year-old.  Surely, I am not the only Mother (or the last one) to worry about her child going away for days at a time, however I suspect I might be in the minority when it comes to everything else I did prior to his departure…

That would include:

- packing eight pairs of underwear and socks instead of the recommended four, as specifically stated in the camp flyer

- packing four pairs of pants instead of the recommended two, again as specifically stated in the camp flyer

- packing enough toothpaste to last him til next year instead of the recommended one-trial-sized-tube

- packing shampoo and conditioner to last at least two weeks because it was listed under the “optional items” section

- packing four pairs of pants instead of the recommended two

- packing eight shirts instead of the recommended four

- and of course packing enough snacks for the long 30-minute ride to the camp completely ignoring the section marked “what NOT to pack”, because like a good Jewish Mother I never let my kids leave the house with a little something to nosh on “just in case”.

The last few days leading up to today I kept thinking how much my son will be homesick, and me not being there to comfort him.  The more I thought about that, the more I started to notice that it doesn’t seem to phase him one bit that he will be gone for a whole four days!  All he cared about was getting his friends into the same cabin, and whether or not he can try sneaking in his iPod…  Every night I snuggled next to him telling him not to worry, that he will have a great time and to call me for any reason, no matter how small it may be.  And every night AFTER that I would overhear him telling his brother to be good and “distract Mom as much as possible because she will be a total mess!”  Nice.

When we finally dropped him off at school this morning, I quietly told my son that I love him and that I might cry a little bit when he goes.  He turned to me and with a straight face replied: “I know you love me Mom.  It’s OK, you can cry.  Just go do it over there somewhere, not too close OK?”

Not much more I can say after that, except for: looks like I’m the one with the homesickness problem, not my child.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I was born in Ukraine, in the former USSR, and grew up in Riga, Latvia which is on the Baltic Sea.  My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1989, right before the...

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