JUST TO LET YOU KNOW…
There were three of us in the car heading South on I-95 to the airport this morning. There were only two of us in the car heading North on I-95 approximately ninety-seven minutes later.
The whole thing is still such a blur. I suppose the double dose of the anti-anxiety meds might have something to do with it, but all I kept saying on the ride home was, “Did that really just happen?”
Did I really just leave my eight year old kid at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport with a group of people he doesn’t know? Did I really just tighten my core more than I’ve ever been able to do before in any type of exercise class so that my gut wouldn’t fall out of my body when I hugged my son goodbye? Did I really just bite the inside of my cheek so hard in an effort to fight back the tears that now I’m probably gonna need an antibiotic to avoid infection? And is the pit in my stomach making me so nauseous that I really just walked right by a hot, fresh, Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand without so much as flinching when on any other given day the smell alone would initiate the twenty minute mental head game I like to call, “Should I or Shouldn’t I? I Know I Shouldn’t, But Should I?” Did I really just pass up torturing myself with a great debate over eating a goddamn carbohydrate?
DID ALL THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN?
YUP, IT HAPPENED… BUT LET’S KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE, SHALL WE?
When the unpolished side of my brain starts to go all Sally Field and I catch myself Cybil-ing out over the enormity of this whole thing, I know I have to rely on the rational side of my brain to pull it together for a reality check.
Keeping things in perspective, it’s not like I signed up my kid as a deckhand on the Cornelia Marie and I’m shipping him off to fish for Alaskan king crab in the Bering Sea where there are forty foot waves and massive icebergs! For crying out loud, he’s going to camp to play ball and have a catch… He’s not going to risk his life on the show, Deadliest Catch! Geez.
THERE’S A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING
We crawl before we walk and we walk before we run. It wouldn’t be normal to be without apprehension about starting something new for the very first time. Even as parents, there’s a learning curve we must endure until situations we consider unknown become part of our comfort zone. Regardless of how amazing I know this summer will be for all of us, there’s still no getting around those heightened emotions one feels when your first born takes off for the first time.
I saw him turn back right before he went through security and we caught each other’s eyes. He put his hand on his heart and bumped his chest to our family pattern 1-4-3, representing I LOVE YOU and I literally lost my shit. LOST MY SHIT! I’m still sobbing as I type this right now.
HE’LL BE FINE… I’LL BE FINE… WE’LL ALL BE FINE
I’ve made no secret of the fact that until I know the eagle has landed, I intend to get by with a little help from my friends. Since most of my local, human friends are also parents of first time campers and will most likely be in a similar anxious state of consciousness, the friends I’ve chosen to help me get by will be in the form of liquid and solid substances! As of right now, I don’t give a hoot about seeing pictures, checking the mailbox or logging on to the camp website. The only thing I want to refresh will be my cocktails so that by nightfall it won’t just be the campers who’ll be relaxed and singing Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW ONE MORE THING… If for some reason I need an additional friend (or camp song favorite) to help me chillax until I have the proper peace of mind, thank goodness there’s always Puff, The Magic Dragon!