Spaghetti sauce; homemade pizzas; prime rib and mashed potatoes.
All of these dinners are Josh's favorites. He got to choose his last meals before going away.
Last meals. For the love of Pete, we didn't send him to prison. He's spending a month at the delightful summer camp where I made some of the happiest memories of my childhood. We dropped him off today. The place looks astonishingly unchanged since the last time I saw it, which was 1987. 1987, holy Meatballs.
(That was the year Fink beat The Stomach.)
Sending him to camp at every step of the way--the decision to do it, getting him ready for it, driving him there, leaving him there--has been, shall we say, fraught. I posted a long time ago about the expense, and how much it worried me--but some generous Jewish community grants helped with that, at least for this year. It's impossible to know if a kid is really emotionally ready to spend that long so far away from home. This kid has never spent the night at a friend's house and now he is three states away and he can't call home, even. But, we figured, some people need to just take the plunge.
Shopping with him, then packing his clothes into footlocker and duffel, I flashed back to my own summers at camp where I was constantly anxious about having the right clothes, the right goddamned Swatch. My experience won't be his experience, I know that, but still. There are ghosts. Ghosts of a teenage girl's adolescence are the worst fucking kind.
The drive to camp wasn't much fun. Everyone was on edge, the younger brothers finding inventive ways to harass everybody, Josh flying off the handle in predictable response, Chuck and I gritting and gritting and gritting our teeth (note: remember to make dental appointments) and only occasionally losing our shit, miraculously not at the same time.
We dropped him off today. At first he panicked about being the youngest or the oldest or whatever, I wasn't listening too closely but I reminded him that even though he's going into fifth grade he's old enough to be a very young sixth grader so he fits with both groups and that seemed to defuse whatever thermonuclear device was about to go off in his mind. We went to his cabin and unpacked while he met the other boys. All his stuff fit on two shelves. We hung up his nicer shirts. I reminded him where we put his socks. He was quick to say good-bye, dismissive even, which is how I hoped he would be. He wanted nothing less than a hug from his mother.
I have an inside source who told me he seems to be doing fine so far.
After dinner, we took Alex and Eli out for ice cream, and I looked at my watch and realized it was probably evening snack time at camp. I hope he got ice cream for evening snack.
And oh, sweet Lord, I hope he remembers where his pajamas are.