Sunday, July 6, 2008

Letting Go

I have a sadness headache. We sent Angel off to sleep-away camp for the first time today.

We've been preparing for this for three years, ever since Angel's best friend's family invited Angel up to the camp with them when they were looking at it for their older daughter, Laci. Somewhere between the water slide and the horseback riding, Angel fell in love with the camp and decided at age 5 that she was going to go as soon as she was old enough.

I remember that first summer Laci was in camp. Her mom was a total wreck. She walked around in a daze and obsessed about Laci the entire two weeks. I arrogantly thought to myself, I won't be like that when Angel goes to camp. Angel is WAY more mature -- she'll adjust in two seconds and be just fine.

Boy, am I an idiot.

I'm not actually worried about how Angel is adjusting. I couldn't believe how composed she was getting on that bus, not knowing a soul. She had confessed earlier that she was a little nervous about going to camp, but as we walked on the bus to settle her in her seat, she was already scanning the crowd, trying to decide who her next best friend was going to be.

But I was completely and utterly unprepared for the separation anxiety -- MINE. This morning, I couldn't be in the same room with Angel without my eyes welling up. When I walked her onto the bus and leaned over to kiss her goodbye, my throat closed up. I couldn't speak. I nearly panicked when I realized that if I opened my mouth, I would surely dissolve into a puddle of tears. I gave Angel a peck, squeaked/whispered goodbye and bolted off the bus. I held it together just long enough to make it to Hubby's shoulder where I actually DID dissolve into a puddle of tears.

The house seems so empty without her, which is weird because it's not like she's never spent a night away from home before. But I already miss her smile, her freckles, her infectious laugh, her curls and her tight, tight goodnight hugs.

Man, this motherhood stuff is not for the faint-hearted. Half a day down. Eleven and a half more to go.


Anonymous said...

My little one will be six in a few weeks and attending her first all day camp that same week. 8 to 4PM. She will be fine. I will worry about her safety all day long for 5 days.

It's a mom thing but is driven a bit more by the fact that her father died over two years ago and I fear losing her too.

Kids grow up her step-dad reminds me and I can't hold on to her out of misguided notions and old wounds.

I am sure that your Angel is missing you too and will tell you all about it when you talk to her.

PleaseRecycle said...

Motherhood puts you through the wringer, doesn't it? I really enjoy your writing- you always hit the nail on the head.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Hearing from cancer survivors inspires so much hope!

Mollie is doing superbly and we are looking forward to her being a survivor too!!

MojoMom said...

You are more than a week through camp and I am wondering how it is going. Is it getting any easier?

I'll be in your shoes in a couple of weeks, just for a few days, but I already know it will be challenging!