Today is the day that our youngest son heads off to Camp Wabanaki for 5 days with is grade 8 class! He is the last of our three children to attend this traditional end to their grade 8 year.
Last night Matt and I sat down with the list that the school sent home and went through the recommended items to bring. We packed extra socks, shoes and underwear. He dug out an old hockey bag and stuffed everything in (including his sleeping bag). He packed a few personal items into a nap sack that he would take on the bus. Now he was ready to go.
He didn't seem nervous at all (this was his first time away for this length of time). He didn't seem concerned that he would be gone from his family for 4 nights and 5 days. He didn't mention that he would miss his brother or sister. He wasn't upset that he wouldn't be able to mow his Grandma and Grandpa's lawn and his brother would have to do it for him. He wasn't disappointed that he would miss his turn to cook dinner this week. I was getting the feeling that he wasn't going to miss us at all!
He was the first one out of bed this morning and ready to go, earlier than usual. I was driving him to school and we needed to be there by 8:30am. We arrived about 10 minutes early. He had already told me the night before that I was not allowed to take photos of him at school. The shot above was taken in front of our house just before we left.
As we were pulling up to the school you could see the kids and parents saying there goodbye's and the rental truck was already there for all the luggage. I wanted to park the car and walk Matt over to the crowd like all the other parents were doing but he told me to pull up next to the curb. He hopped out and before I could get out of the car, he already had his stuff out of the trunk and was saying goodbye!
I said my quick goodbye and watched him blend into the crowd, never looking back. I started to drive away, feeling a little sad that all I would have to scrapbook would be the one photo of him in front of the house holding his bag (and the fact that he didn't seem even a little sad that he was leaving me behind). I tried to convince myself that it wasn't about me and that I should just let it go. Before I knew it, I was driving around the block and parking my car in the church parking lot across the street.
I hopped out, camera in hand and stood across the street (behind a pole) and took this photo of the group of kids and the rental truck being loaded up! Do you notice all the parents in the crowd? I am trying to look past that and focus on the scrapbook page. I was sure to get the name of the school in the photo and as much of the crowd as I could. I couldn't spot Matt (I am sure he was ducking behind something so he didn't get int he photo).
After a few minutes of watching the action I made my way back to my car and headed home. I snapped one last photo through the windshield of my car......the buses all lined up, waiting for the kids to be loaded on.
Don't get me wrong.......I am thrilled that my son is independent. I would much rather have him blend into the crowd without a thought than be nervous and anxious. It tugs on my heart a little to feel him drift away from childhood and start on his own path. I know that he will have a wonderful week and I will rely on Facebook for all the photos at the camp. I will be sure to take my camera along with me when I pick him up on Friday. I don't care what he says at that point. I will be so happy to see him.....and hopefully he will be happy to see me too!