My 13 year old son has been away at camp for 5 days, 10 hours and 25 minutes. All my life, I’ve had the understanding that dad’s need to be tough and not give a shit about the ‘sensitive stuff’. In 1994, I watched my dad stand over my grandfather’s newly deceased body with no emotion at all. That’s what I thought was expected of me.
That’s not me. It never has been. I miss my son…..and that’s okay.
My son is at a week-long camp where technology use is extremely limited. They have one hour per day to use technology if they choose, but they have to wait in line to get their device. We asked him to reach out to us at least once during the week. I didn’t expect it to take so long and why did I say only once!!?
3 days in, my girls attend a sleepover camp with their class. WTF! How am I supposed to deal with missing all 3 of my kids??? This is awful. Luckily, the girls were able to communicate with us and let us know they were having a good time. It put my mind at ease.
As we hit day #4, we still hadn’t heard from him. It was awful. I kept trying to tell myself that I should be fine with it but I wasn’t. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was consumed by my thoughts and I ate like a stray dog.
We heard from other parents that they received a text from their daughter’s at camp. One even received a letter. We heard he was having a great time. Why didn’t we get anything?
At last! 4:30pm on Day 4. The word “BREH” comes up on my phone. My heart melts. This is a nickname we have for each other. “My boy!” I said in my head. I can’t remember the last time I felt this happy and relieved. We shared some texts shortly after.
I was happy to see that my boy was still my boy. He talked the same. Most importantly, he said he missed me too.
As a dad, it’s okay to miss your kids. It’s okay to be sad when they’re gone. It’s okay to cry when you’re sad and it’s equally okay if your kids see you when you’re emotional.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me. It’s gonna be fun. 🙂