And they're off!
My kids, that is. Well, two of them, anyway.
Flash is spending the summer working as a counselor at an MO bungalow colony in upstate NY, and Wonderwoman is spending three weeks at a girls camp in Pennsylvania.
The past week was crazy, full of shopping, labeling, packing, and... talking.
This is the first time that either child has been away from home for so long, and so I gave them all the standard Mommy lectures. Behave yourself. Follow the rules. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Watch your mouth and treat others with respect. Don't forget to write.
That pretty much covered it for Wonderwoman. She's in a safe, highly supervised, religious environment. But Flash, who's 15, will be living in "the counselor's bungalow", along with a bunch of other dopey teenagers and a much lower level of supervision. He'll be around kids who are older than him, kids who may have different value systems, and- the dreaded G word- girls. Lots more opportunity to get into trouble there.
Now, I trust Flash a lot. If I didn't, I wouldn't have let him go. He's a smart, respectful, responsible kid who's pretty good at telling right from wrong and sticking to his guns when he needs to. And there are rules for the counselors- no girls in the boy's bungalow and vice versa, a reasonable curfew, no leaving the colony without permission, and a zero tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. AND my good friend is at the colony with her family, and she has promised to keep an eye on him as well.
But still. As much as I trust Flash, he's still a teenage boy, and even the brightest teenage boy can be a real doofus sometimes. So he was the lucky recipient of even more Mommy lectures, about drinking and smoking and girls and peer pressure and making smart decisions and staying out of trouble. And he listened to it all so patiently.
And then it was time for him to leave. As I gave him an enormous hug, he whispered in my ear, "Any last words of wisdom, Ma?" For a moment, words failed me. And then I whispered back, "Be good. Be smart. Be safe. Behave." He kissed me and walked out the door. At the last minute, I realized that I forgot to say "Be happy." But it's OK. He knows that, too.
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