So I got that old familiar pit in the bottom of my motherly stomach again yesterday. It happened when I dropped my son off for his first day of Sports Camp. Yes, it's that same ol' dreaded feeling I seem to get whenever I leave my timid little guy in a strange new environment. You see, unlike his mama, he's quite the shy type, and it takes every bit of my willpower not to play the welcome wagon for him when he ventures into foreign territory. It absolutely KILLS me, but I know deep down that it's best for him to figure things out on his own, at his own turtle-like pace.
It certainly didn't help matters much that we missed the first official week of camp last week while visiting my parents in Indiana. We were already off to somewhat of a disadvantaged start because the other kids had had a full five days of falling into a natural routine of sorts. And even though my son knew over half the boys in his particular group, he was incredibly hesitant about joining in their third grade goofiness at first.
Now go ahead and call me a chump, but my heart literally ached as I walked away from my little dude standing there all on his own while the other boys laughed and shoved and joked with each other as nine-year-old boys typically do. The lump in my throat grew even bigger with each step that I made towards my car. It took everything I had in my body to start up the engine, but I somehow managed to drive away. And as much as I tried not to glance in the rearview mirror, I just couldn't help myself. Thank God that I did, though, for what I saw lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. One of the boys from his spring baseball team had made his way over to greet him with a great big smile and a "noogie" to accept him into the group. HALLELUJAH! He was gonna be a-o.k. on his own after all! Which, come to think of it, is an unfortunate bitter-sweet pill to have to swallow as a parent.... *gulp*