You Can’t Go Home Again

Posted on August 11, 2012


My two girls are away at sleepover camp. They left in July so it’s going on week 6 now. One more week to go.  I know my girls look forward to camp all year and start counting down the days until camp around New Year’s. I admit, I look forward to it too.  Not in the way that you think, however. I’m not itching to get rid of my kids.  But I know how much fun they have at camp and I love that they’re so passionate about it.

It’s funny because I think most of us adults crave time away – from work, from home, from responsibilities.  I know that I’ve wished on more than one occasion that I was back in high school, with few responsibilities and very different priorities.  Once you become a mom, however, no matter how much you wish you could go back, and even when we do get a break from our kids for a bit, it just isn’t the same.

I think that becoming a mom comes with worry.  I think the worry that it incubates inside of us from the moment we conceive our first child. I know I worry about my kids being happy, I worry about them making friends, doing well in school and them succeeding in all they want to do.  As they get older, the worries do change, but they don’t really go away.

So even though my kids are gone, and I’m footloose and fancy-free for the summer, it isn’t the same as it was in high school.  The worries have changed again. Now I’m worried about them being homesick, having to deal with a situation they can’t handle, remembering to brush their teeth. And the worry is harder to deal with cause I can’t just walk into their rooms and ask them what’s going on. So I guess it really is true. No matter how much you want to, you just can’t go home again.

I know that I need to start letting go of the worry. I know that whether I want to or not, my kids are going to grow up and away from me. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s healthy and necessary. I really do love the fact that my girls love camp. It gives them a chance to be independant, self-sufficient, armed with the knowledge that they can take care of themselves.  They learn how to make friends, deal with difficult situations on their own, clean up after themselves and get along with many different personality types. All crucial skills that I hope, will last a lifetime.

But I still worry. I can’t help it. I think I do a pretty good job keeping the worry to myself.  I don’t think I’m like those parents on Bubble Wrap Kids who don’t let them have playdates or walk to the park on their own.  I’m hoping that as they get older, the worry will lessen. I’m sure it will.

It has to, right?

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