I keep having the odd feeling of something not being quite right. I keep telling myself, "This is it. This is the beginning of letting go." But I also know that letting go started a long time ago. I cannot believe he is so independent. He cannot be on his own at camp. How is that possible? Never mind that I was younger than him when I went to my first summer camp. It just such a different feeling from the other side. Is this how all parents feel? Is this how my mom felt? My other kids have been missing their big brother. I've told them more than once that Jonathan is having a great time and while he probably misses us at times (like at night or early in the morning), he won't admit to it when he gets home. I'm telling them that because I am reminding myself.
He's reached that age where being with your parents is not cool. Affection toward your parents in public? Out of the question. I hugged my boy in the privacy of my own kitchen before we took him to the drop off point. I hugged him tight. He hugged me back. He hugged me. In parking lot, he smiled at me. His eyes met my eyes. He said bye. My heart was bleeding. I exaggerate. I do. But, I was one of the last parents lingering in the parking lot. My husband had to suggest that we go ahead and leave - as to not be the very last parents hanging around as they loaded up and drove away.
He is stretching for independence. Running toward it in my eyes. Standing firmly in it, in his eyes.
This is a milestone for me. It's huge. It's small. I know that there are many more changes to come as he become a teenager next year. I know there are so many more milestones for me as he grows into a man.
I keep thinking about other mothering milestones I've experienced with my first born. I remember the surprise of emotions when I packed his first lunch for school (The Packed Lunch). It's been 6 years. 6 years!
He's grown. Of course he's grown. But, the hard part is realizing that along with getting bigger, he is growing up.
All the while, this week has kept me wondering about him: Is he having fun? Is he tired? Is he being picked on? Is he eating? Is he brushing his teeth? Does he miss me? What is he doing? Did he get sunburned? Will there be any pictures of him taken during the week? Did he pack everything he needed? Did he play paintball? Is he happy?
Motherhood is such a journey.
Speaking of a journey- I cannot wait for my son to get home tomorrow.