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Emotionally Crippling My Son is the Right Thing to do

Like Jane, Alexander is signed up for sleep away summer camp. It was a bit of a stretch to find a camp for him because none of his school friends are going to camp and the few friends we knew that we headed off to camp are going to the east coast. We settled on one that’s a short week, four and a half days, and as I wrote out the check my heart sank and my stomach was tied up in knots.

I’ve fought against every maternal instinct I have, and I’m letting my son leave home. I’m even encouraging it. I’m all relaxed about the camp issue and talking with the other moms like it’s no big deal. Inside my head the Mom Voice is screaming this is a VERY BIG DEAL.

This morning I went to wake Alexander up for for school and he rolled over towards me, didn’t open his eyes, put his arms out to hug me and said, “I love you Mom.”

I bent over, hugging my son, and smelled the sweetness of his shoulder. I’ve decided that the Mom Voice wins and that from this moment on I’ll be on a campagin to emotionally cripple that boy so that he can live with me forever.



12 thoughts on “Emotionally Crippling My Son is the Right Thing to do”

  1. The first year my daughter went to camp I was absolutely certain she’d hate every minute of it and therefore I’d have a built-in travel companion every summer while her brother was away.  No such luck; she loved it.  Both of them are leaving for eight weeks in the middle of June.  I do need a rest but I’ll be really happy when they come home.

  2.  We’re submitting to the East Coast craze of shipping my daughter off to sleep away camp this summer.  I felt the same.exact.way. as I was pressing  the ‘submit purchase’ button.  BUT for her, I am SO excited.  For me, I want to cry myself to sleep.

    By the by, V-has no hope of leaving me.  Thank God he doesn’t want to anyway.

  3.  I just told my husband how my son comes into my office a few times a day just to kiss me on the top of my head and walk out. 

    He is 18! 

    Camp was the single most important thing in his life. His college roommate was a camp friend.

    Pretty sure I emotionally crippled him AND sent him to camp ; )

  4. I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t do some emotional damage as well.  It seems mothers have been doing this for ages – how else do you explain the sheer numbers of messed up adults out there ;)

  5. I have never done camps for my children. Oldest is girl age 9 in October and my sons will be 3 & 5 in August but I don’t know … with all these crazies out there I just can’t seem to let go for a full on camp thing yet… although Girl Scouts does one and I could volunteer so that would make me feel better at least for a year or two until she was old enough where she would do okay and I would do okay. I know my middle child (first son) and I are very close I would have a harder time letting him go!

  6. I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do, my oldest daughter has asked to go to camp, and I just can’t do it yet!

  7. I’m sending my 7 and 8 year old boys off for 4 nights away too and it helps me to know that they have each other AND my college aged brother will be there as he’s the waterfront director but jeez it is sooo hard to send them away.

  8. We’ve never sent out sons to a sleepaway camp, but we’ll probably try to put him in scouts this year.  I’m the dad, so I’ll probably be ok (although I’ll probably try to become one of the leaders who goes along)

  9. My 12 year old son was recently invited to go to the beach with his best friend’s family… a very nice and trustworthy family.  They were going for a full week.  For him, I wanted to be able to say yes, but I couldn’t do it.  I don’t want him to live with me forever, but maybe ’til he’s 40.

  10. This summer will be my daughter’s first time at sleepaway camp.  She just turned 9 years old and has been begging to go for almost two years now, but I am just so terrified to let her go (I’m afraid she won’t like it, I’m afraid she’ll get scared and want to come home, I’m afraid she won’t make friends, I’m afraid she won’t like the food…).  It’ll be an interesting time for both of us…  I just hope she has fun, because I know it will be really challenging for me to let her go.

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