This weekend was one long Hail and Farewell as Tim returned from a week of camp, and Kolbe headed out the revolving door for Scout camp.
I was a mix of emotions as Kolbe left, but, to be perfectly frank, the overriding one was Relief! when that heavily laden Boy Scout trailer finally drove out of our neighborhood. Does that make me an awful mom? Let's just say the two hours before liftoff tend to be rather stressful.
Having done this four years running, I have to say both the packing and the sendoff have improved rather dramatically. My friend and I were laughing about our much younger selves shipping our boys off to camp the very first time. You'd have thought we were sending them to Damascus for the summer. Every fear -- the reasonable and the fringe -- comes at you when your oldest does anything for the first time.
Where Boy Scouts are concerned, I've come to realize a few things:
1. The equipment you ship off with your son -- the cot, the pocket knife, the bug spray, the mess kit -- that collection of gear that sets you back approximately $187.37? The vast, vast majority of it really does come home eventually. And you'll actually reuse most of it fairly soon, so the costs (gradually, theoretically) drop. At least I think so. And that's what the fine folks at L.L. Bean hope you believe. Early on, a Scout learns that he is to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc. The Scout's mom learns that she is to label every last t-shirt and pair of boxer shorts with a black Sharpie.
2. Those horrible scenes you try so hard to keep out of your mind, the scenes from horror movies you might have spent your teenage years watching? Yeah, the ones that tend to be set in a summer camp. They don't really happen. So don't dwell on them.
3. And if you happened to have read of The Shack (which did for national parks what Friday the 13th did for summer camp), well, it's best you put that out of your mind as well.
4. Problems do occur, of course. After weekend trips too numerous to count and many years of summer camp, my focus tends to linger over crises far more likely and, thankfully, far more mundane in nature -- sunburn and stitches, Poison Ivy and blisters.
5. Fathers do things very differently than mothers, and it's a very, very good thing I don't have a front row seat to see this in living color.
6. The boys come home filthy, happy, and full of great memories.We have another farewell tomorrow morning as Dave goes back out for the remainder of camp!