Jacek went to overnight basketball camp this past week at Westminister College with his buddies Petey Taillac and Eric DeBry. He was really excited about it (or so I thought) and we gave him his new cell phone before he left (for my own peace of mind). I'm not sure the cell phone was the best idea after all. He did okay the first day and night.
Day #1- 8:30-9:00 a.m. Check-in and register
I get him all checked in and I'm going back and forth giving him last minute instructions (where I put his money, meal card, ipod, etc...). He practically ignores me as he and Eric shoot hoops to warm up. I leave feeling confident and secure in the knowledge that he won't miss me at all.
They play basketball ALL DAY long until 8:30 at night. The first night he calls and they are playing Texas Hold'Em in the apartment common room with other boys and seems to be really enjoying himself. Keaton, however, starts boo-hooing at 9:30 p.m. "I want my brother!" "I want my brother to come home, now!" "I miss my brother!" On and on for several minutes until his head hits the pillow from utter exhaustion.
Day #2- The whole day starts over again. Basketball. Basketball. Basketball. Later that evening, I get a text from Jacek saying I am sad and want to come home, while I am at book club. :'(
The illusion was shattered. He missed us a lot. It takes most of the rest of the evening to calm him down and help him realize he's okay and will be okay. (It takes until morning to calm me down and help me realize he's okay and will be okay!) And then, on cue, Keaton starts chanting his cry, "I want my brother!" "I miss my brother!" And while I was at bookclub, "I miss my mommy!" "I want my mommy!"
Day #3- Whew! Everyone made it through the night. But then, first thing in the morning I get a text, "Mom can you come and pick me up." What! It's only 8:00 a.m., not p.m. "I'll go talk to Dad and call you back." DAD! The word he didn't want to hear. DAD calls him back,
Dad: "What's up son!"
Jacek: "It's hard Dad!"
Dad: "Yes it is...basketball camp is hard."
Jacek: "My feet hurt and I have blisters all over...."
Dad: "Go ask the coach for some tape."
Dad: "Do you want Mom to pick you up after camp tonight, spend the night at our house and then take you back tomorrow?"
Fast forward to 4:00 p.m. that day. I get a text from Jacek, "Mom I want to spend the night here, but don't text or call me." Allrightythen! Keaton gets ready for bed and starts his regular routine again, "I want my brother...." Oh my! But at least Jacek is good tonight, right?
Wrong! 10:00 p.m. that night my phone goes off. I say to Cory, "Oh no, it's Jacek, should I answer it?" It was more of a rhetorical question, really, because of course I'm going to answer it.
I text back, "I'm not suppose to text or talk to you?"
"Oh well", he says.
"I miss you guys so much...sadness, sadness, sadness."
It wasn't quite as hard to convince him this time to go to sleep and everything would be fine. Only one more day to go.
Day #4- Basketball. Basketball. Basketball. Jacek calls me at 6:00 p.m.
"Mom, I'm finished, where are you?"
I am mortified as I say, "I thought you finished at 8:30?"
"Not tonight! It's earlier tonight!"
Bad Mom! Bad Mom!
I did not even check the schedule to see what time the camp ended. Jon DeBry, Eric's dad, brings Jacek home and we all live happily ever after.
Postscript: The second night of camp, I say to Cory, "Be prepared, Jacek may live with us until he's 25." Cory says, "I had the same thought!"