I feel like I am missing an appendage this week. In 6th grade, all Hopkinton Middle School students go away for a week to a camp in Connecticut. It's a great experience for the kids...they do team building exercises, science experiences, hike, do crafts, stay in cabins, and eat in a big mess hall type of atmosphere. It's one big camping trip with all your friends and no parents. Jack went last year and loved it...minus the broken wrist he suffered on the second to last day there (see my previous post on having the most accident prone child in America). It was cool though because he got to go Wendy's with the school nurse and he got attention because of his sling. Mimi comes home tomorrow and so far no calls about broken bones...so far so good. But it's been a long week....for me.
The week preceeding her departure, I think I must have told Mimi about 5 times a day how much I would miss her, followed by, "But you are going to love this!" I knew she would love it...and wouldn't miss me much. When I was working, she would basically spend the summer at the Cape with my parents, splitting her time at my sister's with her best friend and cousin Lexi. At one point she stayed there for 3 weeks straight (we had visitation on the weekends...) and she really didn't miss us. She loves to be independent and if truth be told, she is pretty much ready to move to her own apartment. So, I knew she would have no problems being away for a week. Sure, at night when she is going to bed, she will think about us and miss us but for the most part, I knew she would be fine. It was me that I knew wasn't going to be fine.
Monday came and she was so excited to go. We had the car parked and she was hugging Tim...aka, man of few emotions. She looks up at him, batting her big beautiful eyelashes and she says "Daddy, are you EVEN going to miss me?!" He didn't even bat an eyelash, "Of course I will miss you but I'm not sad you are going because I know you are going to have a great time." She hugged him really hard and then ran out of the house with tears in her eyes. She takes after Timmy...doesn't display any complex emotions in front of others.
Years ago we were on vacation and my friend was coming over to feed our cat. She called me on day 3 and said that she hadn't seen the cat at all. Because she was an indoor cat I immediately thought that somehow she must have got out and was eaten by some wild critter. I was a mess. I called our neighbors in tears and left them messages to please look for her. I'm pretty sure the messages were more like "It's Kelly....insert sobbig...Gracie...missing....please....find her....sob, sob....call me." We were out to dinner towards the end of our vacation and my friend called to say that she had found her in the basement...curled up for her final nap. I had her for 14 years and with all pets you have before your children, you treat them like a baby. This was my "first child" and she died. I was heartbroken. And the waitresses probably thought a family member had died. I went to the restroom to collect myself and when I got back to the table with my swollen eyes, Jack was curled up in the fetal position in the booth quietly crying (like I wanted to be doing) and there was Mimi next to Tim saying "Boy, these burgers are GREAT, Daddy...don't you think?!" and he was batting his lashes excessively saying "They REALLY are!" They are two peas in a pod when it comes to their feelings.
So, I was basically in the fetal position all week while Mimi was living the high life on burgers at camp. When I dropped her off at school she tried to scoot away from me but I quickly grabbed her, told her how much I loved her while squeezing her guts out. She ran away with tears in her eyes...neither of us could look at each other. I then walked back to my car...across the long parking lot, with tears streaming down my face. Later, I got a message from my friend that said "I know Mimi is okay...but how are you...are you bawling your eyes out or what?!" I couldn't respond...because I was rocking myself in the fetal position.
In all honesty, I have slept with her little guy she normally sleeps with all week...I even sniffed him because it smelled like her. Yes, I just admitted that out loud. When Jack got home on Monday I started asking him, "Do you think she misses me?" to which he responded "Ah...no, Mom...she is having fun." It was a great "opportunity" to teach him about when lying is appropriate. I explained that sometimes it is okay to tell white lies to make people feel good. He said "But you have always told me lying is bad..." so all week we have talked about good lies vs. bad lies. Tonight we had a quiz. It started with "Do you think Mimi is missing me right now?" to which he quickly responded "Oh, yes"...good, good. Then I said "Do these pants make my butt look fat?" and he hesitated and said "yes?" No, no! Any sort of questions regarding appearance require white lies...unless I would be really embarrassed in public. I said, "When I have morning hair and I drive you to the bus stop and ask 'Should I put a hat on?' what should you say?" he quickly responded "Yes, your hair is CRAZY in the morning!" Good, good. We went through several other training exercises and he passed with his final question..."Do you think Mimi is dying to see me as much as I am to see her?" Yes!
I have not had anyone to watch my "lady shows" with, as Tim calls them. On Monday nights, Mimi and I usually watch Dancing With The Stars" but this week I was watching Monday night football. OMG. Tonight Jack got to do whatever he wanted since it was his last night as an "only child". We ate steak and cheese subs while watching tv and drinking sodas. He told me, play by painful play, of every pass and catch in the flag football game in gym that made his day "awesome". I wouldn't trade that moment for anything and we all have moments with our kids that are priceless. I am grateful for the week with Jack - we have played football in the yard, had great conversations that we would only have in private, and wrestled by holding each other down and forcing the other to smell each other's dirty socks...doing things you can only do with boys. And now I am ready for my "lady friend" to come home...I can't wait to hug Mimi, see her beaming smile, sniff her, cuddle up with her, and hold hands while we sit on the couch and chat about her week.