I have trouble letting things go.
Insults, slights, old grudges - I hold on to those things like they're the keys to Fort Knox, but the most difficult thing to let go of is the kids.
My dad, Grampy Grumpy, accuses me of being a helicopter parent. The Long Suffering Husband's mantra is "you've got to let them grow up." Usually, he says that when he wants to let them do something ridiculous, like cross the street by themselves. Doesn't he know they could be run over? He also says it when reminding me our Sassy Saint will be starting high school and be eligible for her learner's permit this fall.
Pray for me.
Now, I haven't been kicked out of the Little Professor's Boy Scout meetings, but it has been suggested it would be good for him if I made myself absent. I try not to jump in and correct him or tell him to tuck his shirt tail in or sit up straight (like a little gentleman). Really, I do.
The LSH says they need to be allowed to grow up. I say they need protection. Anyway, growing up is completely overrated. Growing up means having to sweep the floor, pay bills and be responsible. There's no hurry; I'm doing them a favor. Growing up is a bummer, but tell that to teenagers.
So, when it came time to send the Little Professor to Boy Scout camp, I signed the LSH up to go, too. I signed him up because they can always use another adult chaperone and because it would be good boys bonding time. Also, because the Professor wasn't going by himself and I don't sleep outside. Too many bugs. Also, if I was meant to sleep in the equivalent of a giant cloth baggie, beds wouldn't be invented. Additionally, there's nowhere to plug in my coffee grinder and cell phone.
Like I said, I saw it as a great opportunity for the LSH and Professor to do some manly bonding out in the great outdoors. And the Professor wasn't going by himself. (By himself, I mean with two other adult chaperones and all the boys in his troop.) The Professor was nervous - it is his first year, and all the other boys have been at least once, so he'll still be in the orientation activities while all his friends are doing other things.
I dropped them off Sunday morning, and the leaving-taking was hard. I'm not saying that the Scout leaders had to literally pry my arms from around my boys and shove me out the door ... but it was hard.
It's gotten harder since they left. I've gotten half a dozen texts and photos - they're sleeping in what is basically a tarp draped over a pallet. I haven't received one phone call. I haven't talked to my boys at all since Sunday.
And the LSH sent me a text saying his phone was about to die. The Professor wasn't allowed to take one. Every time I call, I get nothing but voicemail. No response to my texts.
I can't take it. This is the longest we've been apart since before the Professor was born, and I don't have any contact with them.
I think it's time for a road trip.
(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)