I dropped him off at camp this morning. The real kind of camp, where he has to take a sleeping bag and pillow, and toothbrush which he will have to remind himself to use (along with the shower, let's hope he reminds himself to use the shower, too).
I didn't do very many sleep away camps when I was little. Once. I remember going to horse back riding camp when I was in elementary school. It might have been a Girl Scout camp. I remember helping in the mess hall, and mucking out stalls. I remember that of all the girls for some reason I just couldn't get the hand of the trot, or maybe it was the canter. I remember the frustration. And I remember the fun, but I also remember being very, very homesick at night. That feeling lasted for me long into high school, when spending a week at band camp was a delightfully magic time for me every summer, but with nights that left me feeling bereft of my own bed and family. I even cried sometimes when I was away for simple overnights at friends' houses.
So you'll forgive me if I was a little worried for Calvin. Logically, in my forethinking brain, I have no real concern. Calvin is more easy going than I think I was as a kid, and I think he'll take these first two nights away from home and family (ever!) like a champ. In fact, if anything he's likely to be sorry when the week is up (which is a feeling I also remember very well, especially at the close of band week every summer), but that didn't stop me from worried just a teeny tiny bit somewhere in the back of my uncontrollable reptilian brain. So we all talked about it a bit the day before I dropped him off. We told him that when I was young I suffered terribly from homesickness, but that his dad not, and I told him some of the coping mechanisms I had used when I was young to get through a long week.
Then in the car on the way to drop off, eary on Wednesday morning, Calvin told me that he was really, really going to miss me, and he asked me to take care of his animals for him. I asked him if he was starting to get worried, but he said that no, he just thought that would be a sweet thing to say so that I wouldn't feel sad. He was using my own coping mechanisms on me.
Wisdom is sometimes lost on the old.