At the beginning of the school year we had our hands FULL with the teenager. Every stinkin' time that I would see the school's phone number come up on my caller ID, catch my breath and grooooaaaan. It just made me crazy....okay, A LOT crazy. And it was only slightly comforting when I would hear that other mom's were experiencing the same CRAP with their boys. I got calls saying -
Conner has a major project that was due two days ago.
Conner isn't staying on task again.
Conner was shooting spit wads on the ceiling.
Conner gave the substitute teacher the finger. (a personal favorite)
Conner was caught skipping class.
Conner was kissing his girlfriend. (Seriously? We're happy that this is ALL that he's doing w/ girls at this age, lady!)
O-M-G!!!! So we decided to look around and see what was out there for teenagers. We wanted to find something that would force him to be responsible for himself. Something that would encourage him to examine himself on different levels. And finally, I wanted him to be away from home long enough that I could start to miss him and want him to come home. I'm just being honest.
Then, during a conversation sharing my woeful existence of being the mother of an idiot teenager, my BFF from Missouri suggested sending him to summer camp. Meh. I wasn't quite sure that camp was necessarily what I was looking for, but I listened to her, googled, researched, and found my solution. As a family, we decided to forgo our annual family vacation and send Conner to camp this summer instead. We will drop him off at camp in mid-July and he will be there for 25 days. Yes. TWENTY. FIVE. DAYS. Of course, since making final payment in February he's been an absolute angel - well, at least MOSTLY.
The reality of our upcoming separation is starting to set in now. In two weeks we will begin the drive to northern Arkansas to drop him off. I will hand the "keys" over to the camp counselors and drive away. He will be parent-less teen for 25 days. He will get to be his own person. He will do really fun things that I won't get to see (or take pictures of). No phone calls from home to check on him. No phone calls FROM him to let me know that he's having a swell time. He will be a remote location youngster.
I know that I will miss him....and the seed of longing is already awakening.