SOMWaD: Picking Up Our Boy

Last Sunday afternoon we dropped our son off at camp; in just a few hours we will be picking him up.  Although he has gone away a lot this summer (with my in laws to Gettysburg and staying at the shore with my parents), this week was the hardest because he was really away.  At Camp Johnsonburg (, he is on his own.   While there are wonderful counselors and fellow campers, there are no relatives and no daily calls from mom and dad. There's no digital connection (except for emails that I write to him that the staff prints and hands out) It's a wonderful experience for him.  For me...well that's a whole other story.

I scan the camp's website for the daily photos.  For the first couple of days this year there were no photos with my son in them. (In the past they have taken cabin photos on the first day so you can see your camper and his bunk.)  Logically, I knew he was fine and I knew he was having fun.  (After all this is the third year that he's gone to Johnsonburg.)  But being a SOMWaD, I wanted to see a photo of my kid. I completely admit to being an obsessive fool.  So the first day I looked (that would be the day after I dropped him off); nothing. Not all the photos are uploaded at once; so I checked in the morning and again in the afternoon.  By late in the day there were 52 photos and not one of them had my son in them (even in the background).  The next day I looked again.  There were only 20 photos.  Still no sign of my kid.  Again, logic tells me he is fine.  But the emotional side of me wants to see a photo of my son!

By day three I was checking early and often!  First batch of photos were up by mid-morning.  Still no sign of the kid.  Now I was getting annoyed! Second batch of photos were added by noon.  There were now a total of 59 photos for the day.  I scanned through them and there it was:  photo #54.  My smiling and somewhat sweaty boy.

That photo made my day.  Before I saw that photo I knew my boy was fine.  I knew that he was having fun.  But I needed to see that photo.

More photos followed over the next two days.  He appeared in several more.  Still looking hot and sweaty.  All with that happy grin on his face.

Today we go to pick up our boy.  I know that I have lots of laundry to look forward to this afternoon.  I know that the first thing I'm going to have him do when he gets home is to get into a shower and get really clean.  (Yes, they have showers at camp, but there's nothing like a shower at home where my son can sing out loud one of the joyous songs that he has made up.)  And I know that I'll get lots of hugs.  I'll give a lot of hugs too.

Picking up our boy.  He will be happy to see us.  He will be sad to leave camp (even if he knows that he'll be back for another week before the summer is over). Sleep away camp is a good thing.  It's good for my son.  It's good for me (and my husband too).  I know that the boy that I pick up in just a few hours will be more mature than the one that I dropped off on Sunday.  He may have only been gone for a week, but the experience will stay with him for a lifetime.


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