Nervous Nelly. That’s a term our mom used to use when we were kids. I’m not sure anyone actually still uses it, but it describes me perfectly earlier this week.
I like to think we encourage Caleb to do things outside his comfort zone - new experiences and new places - so eventually he’ll feel more comfortable in these types of situations. But this week, the tables were turned, and it was my turn to put on my big girl pants.
Caleb’s done a lot of camps. He loves camp! So, we signed him up for several them this summer. Mostly familiar places, but a new one too. An inclusive “sports camp” at a local university. Our school had sent out information about it during the spring and we thought we’d give it a try. We missed the Parent Meeting night because we were traveling, and I totally forgot about it - until Sunday night. I scoured the information packet to see about details and contact info. We packed up Monday morning and headed to camp, thinking we’d see some familiar faces from school.
There were a LOT of kids. And the camp has been going on all summer, so most of the kids knew each other. Not us. There was no one we knew. No familiar faces. Caleb seemed fine, he was ready for a fun day at camp! I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. All the groups were based on age, so off he went with the other Jaguars, the shortest of the bunch. I explained to his counselor that this was his first time at camp without any of his buddies. “He’ll be fine!”, he assured me, and I wanted to believe him.
Now, Caleb is not a “runner” but he will wander. If something catches his eye, he’ll just kinda slip away. The campus is huge. Lots of new things to explore and places to get lost. And did I mention that we didn’t know anyone? I sent up a thousand prayers as David and I walked back to the car. As we drove home, I wondered if we should just go back and bring him home. I admit it. I even went back during lunchtime, just to check on him.
He was fine, happily eating lunch with everyone else. His counselor said he was having a great day, and even tagged some kids out in dodgeball (😁😁). He’s crushing on one of the female college student counselors already, and the girls in the group have kicked into mother-hen mode. But he’s playing with the guys too - which makes my momma heart happy. It was tough to get him to turn around to say goodbye when I left, he was deep into video games with the other guys.
So, this week has been a learning experience for this momma. Caleb is getting older now, and there will be (and already are!) times when I need to start trusting him. It’s SO hard, guys! So hard. And I know I have to do it, for his sake. To let him try and succeed. To let him try and fail and learn some lessons (always safety first though). To let him start spreading his wings – maybe just a bit 😊 As much as I might miss my little boy, I’m proud of the big kid he’s becoming. And as many lessons as he learns, I’m learning right along with him.