Maybe I’m as tied to a routine as Sean is….
A genetic link perhaps?
Anyway, tonight I find myself in Wild Rose, Wisconsin at Napowan Adventure Base. It’s a place Sean’s Boy Scout troop calls home for one week every summer. This is my second season here fighting the mosquitoes and raccoons the size of dogs.
I sit here in what we call “Leader Land” in the semi-dark, hooked up to a rumored Wi-Fi and regretting not bringing the bottle of Deep Woods Off with me….
Sean is back at camp right now, currently not attached to the umbilical cord. This week will be a test for me with the “coddling” and “bullying” of a past weekend fresh in my mind.
In other words, I am “here” but not.
As much as I would like to hand-hold him through junior high, I know I can’t. For one, the counselors won’t allow it!
But here it’s different. Sean is one of many in a place far from home. It is not exactly fraught with danger but it can provide it’s moments. Getting lost in the woods or being swallowed up by the lake name just two of my fears.
Of course staff is everywhere and for this well-seasoned camper, Napowan is the best I’ve encountered as far as ratios and safety.
Thus, the clamp and scissors come out and for a time, Sean is cut from my side.
Early this morning came my first excision.
Instead of covering the 220 mile distance to camp safely belted next to me in the mini-minivan, I allowed Sean to go on the bus with the other campers.
I did not lecture him about best behaviours or even do any pre-teaching about what to expect.
I gave him a hug and a kiss and went to my car.
I followed along with the caravan, stopping when they stopped. I checked in with him but never gave more than a passing glance to make sure he was ok.
Did he wash his hands at the pit stop? I don’t know….
And these are things I won’t know. Over time, I guess I’ll have to get used to not knowing every intimate detail of my son’s world.
He’s growing up and it’s killing me.
But I have to let him do it no matter how much I fight it and beg the world to keep him my little boy.
It’s become completely dark now. I should head back to the campsite soon.
I could say that I’ve been gone long enough and that I worry that it’s time to get back, but I left him in good hands.
Besides, he is, after all, a Boy Scout.
Isn’t their slogan “Be Prepared” or something like that?
This whole growing up thing…. Consider me not prepared at all.