Friday at 6pm, with grandson Seth in tow (he spent the night with us), we ventured back to Sunnyhill Adventures camp and picked up The Boy.
Entering the camp lunch room, I was met with a sea of bodies, lots of luggage, dirty laundry and a cacophony of sound. This room was a bit less full and certainly less noisy when I bid a fond adieu to The Boy this past Sunday. As I scanned the room for my favorite errant redhead, I heard his familiar "Hey, Mom!" from a corner of the room.
Had his voice gotten lower still while he was there? Was he taller than he appeared just six days ago? Maybe because I'd spent the day glancing at the cuteness that is Seth, it only heightened the realization that I was looking at my son, a young man, rather than a boy (maybe I should refer to him as "Man Child" on the blog from now on)?
My next confirmation of his adolescent status was the stench of a lad who was in the need of a shower and lots of deodorant.
I asked The Boy/Man Child if he had a good time, and he summed his week up like this: "It was the worst week of my life! Can I come back next year?"
It appears that the past 51 weeks of inconsistent parenting has reaped big rewards.
He got lots of hugs (I imagined them all holding their breath), and lots of goodbyes.
To one very cute female camper about his age, he said, "Goodbye, darling". He admitted to me that he called her that because he didn't remember her name.
He said he used pet names all week. This is a big part of his Asperger's - if he was better at eye contact and picking up on social cues, he'd probably be able to remember the names of more people he comes in contact with.
And to a young man named Tyler, he said a big "F**k you" (Tyler's name, he remembered quite clearly)! Apparently, he and that young man had had a tempestuous relationship this week. I'm sure I'll learn more about it when I begin grilling asking him about his fun week at camp.
The Boy's counselor for the week, a young British woman named Verity, said that he behaved himself pretty well, and made lots of friends. Since we received ZERO phone calls from camp indicating otherwise, I can only assume that he did, indeed, behave himself well enough not to get tossed out.
His first act when he arrived at home was to take a shower and don some less aromatic clothing. He enjoyed a little Seth time - then both "man-children" retired to their respective rooms for some well-deserved shuteye.
My Saturday will be filled with adolescent surliness, Seth's sweet toddler self and stinky camp clothes that need laundering.
This place feels like a home again...and I'm sure I'll be wishing I could return to the relative calm and silence of our week without complications by mid-morning.