Loosening the apron strings...

Benj left for 5th grade camp this morning. Five days away from home. Totally unacceptable for a newborn baby. He is just a newborn baby isn't he? Well he was last week!

He was calm and poised and confident and super so excited. I have been so busy packing and labeling everything within an inch of its life (confession: I love me some labeling of stuff. Give me a sharpie and a bottle of shampoo to write BEN on, and I am a happy girl. It's a good thing I have 4 kids and in schools with the policy of marking every crayon, marker AND their lids...woot!)

Anyway I was so distracted with this busy work that I did not have much time to ponder how very odd it would be to have him gone.

This morning as I dropped him off in the parking lot filled to the brim with anxious looking parents, distracted looking kids and piles of garbage bags filled with sleeping bags, I was suddenly overcome with a wave of verklemptness. I turned to my very controlled friend who has been through this before with an older child, with my eyes full of tears and a Rudolphy nose and said, "Oh no! I did not expect this to happen! He can't see me do this! Hide me!" She shielded me from view until I could get it together enough to hide behind my giant camera. Ah the trusty camera-so many uses. Another friend came over dry eyed and matter of fact asked me if I was having "trouble". I nodded soggily. She told me airily she had "been hysterical" when her first went, but now it was like, "haven't you left yet?". I can't imagine that being the case when it comes to my Gabey baby, or my Princess or heaven literally forbid it..my Finny, but I can hope. I am so pathetic, I'm sure it will only get worse.

What surprised me even more was how somber Finny was. He did not look up or say a word the entire time we were there. He became more and more solemn and bereft looking as the time to say our final goodbyes came closer. Benj tried to comfort and cheer him. But he would have none of that.

As I drove Gabe to piano lessons this evening I asked him if he missed Benj. He answered with an emphatic, "YES!" I expected him to still be taken with the novelty of not having to wait his turn for the lap-top. But Webkinz cannot compete with having your best friend in the house.

I keep waiting for Benj to come through the front door sweaty and full of soccer practice reports. It seems so very incomplete. It is so very incomplete.It's weird, because he sleeps over at friends' houses often enough..maybe it's because it is a school night? It is just plain weird, in a I- feel-like- crying kind of way. Do we still have Family Home Evening? It seems a bit....disloyal.

Last night as I somberly told Aaron to hug his first-born son extra tight since this was the longest either one of us will have ever been away from him, he looked at me scathingly and said, "apart from the time you went partying in South Africa for 2 weeks...and all those times I went on business trips". Yes well fine Mr. Flintheart. BUT this is the longest time he is away.from.home. Without either of us. It is totally different. Totally. Sob.

I have been busy enough today to keep the verklemptness under control, but tonight as I imagine my little man going to sleep without a goodnight kiss, or lying awake in the dark, last person to go to sleep..(can you tell I had insomnia/homesickness issues as a kid?) I am going to be an absolute freaking wreck.

He is, I'm sure, having the time of his life. However, I will be sure to keep worrying and obsessing so that he won't have to.

I'm pretty sure he is not going on a mission unless Aaron is called as Mission President of his area. And it's definitely a good thing we live in a college town. I hope his future wife doesn't mind living in our basement. I won't interfere. Much.




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Kim said...

Oh Kirsty....how heartbreaking for you all. Dare I mention the giggles I got from reading your sad story....LOL! Particularly, "Mr. Flintheart"....still giggling. Hope the week passes super fast and you have your little newborn back home with you soon! Poor Finny...he does look totally bereft...:(

Kirsty said...

LOL Kim, thanks. Finny did not speak until he had consumed a Panera bread-bowl full of chicken-noodle soup. They heated it up special for him at 9am. I had hot chocolate. My kids are weird. Chicken noodle soup is their *ultimate*.

After that he asked if we were going home for breakfast.

nyn said...

This made me misty eyed. I can so relate. Elise took her first away trip last year. Cora took hers this year. I still cried and tried to hide so my second child wouldn't see me being anything less than stoic. I don't think it gets easier. But I don't mind shedding a tear or two over missing my babies.

Janet said...

Aww, I hope you both slept well last night. I gulped too seeing those pics of Finny and Ben. I hope the week flies by for you all.