A few years ago, while my 10 year-old-son spent two weeks away at a summer camp in the Sierras, I wrote a log of my feelings and activities:Nick Lonsdale age 10

Day 5
I ache with the missing of my Nick. The other parents were so excited when we waved good-bye to the busload of campers. Not me. I’m lethargic and can’t find my zest. I rummage around different stores looking for interesting cards to send him, and I hit the jackpot when I find one with a cover from a Rumpelstilkskin picture book. Nick’s favorite childhood story. I want to find enough energy to get some things done around the house. But it’s too quiet here and I’m sad. I won’t know until Nick gets home that he received way more mail than anyone else at camp. Doesn’t every mother alert all aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and neighbors to send mail?

Day 6
The first card from Nick arrives. Thank goodness I have a boy who likes to write. The first line….I am so happy! The second line…..I am having so much fun and meeting so many new kids! I feel his joy and it lifts me.

Day 7
My husband and I decide we want to see no one but each other during this weekend without Nick. We turn down three invitations for Fourth of July barbecues, opting instead for a drive to Point Reyes on Saturday. We do take the dog and we laugh and laugh at his pleasure in rolling and running in sand. On Sunday, we don’t leave the house.

Day 10
Two cards from Nick arrive. I read the cards over and over, and take them to work and back with me. I love the thoughts that appear disconnected but somehow connect for him:

“There’s this bandana swing thing like in Cirque de Soleil. It’s really super fun and I did it twice yesterday. Did you know that 5% of people are double jointed? Snails can live 3 years. If I get good enough on the bandana curtain thing, maybe I can be in the show.”

Day 11
My husband tells me he misses Nick but loves having all of my attention. He still misses the way we were before having a kid. We’ve given up on doing any home projects. We work during the day and romance the evenings. We eat at too many expensive restaurants, drink too much red wine and stay up too late.

Day 12
My husband tells me he can’t imagine anyone being as good a wife to him as I am. I just say thank you. I want to soak in his words for a while.

Day 14
I’m up at 6 am. I feel like I want to jump out of my skin. I need Nick home. The bus won’t arrive until noon. His Dad and I will be there waiting. We’ve all changed, turning straw into gold. Nick moving independently towards his future. My husband and I moving back towards each other, relieved to find we’re both still here, and ready to move forward together.

About The Author
Marianne Lonsdale
Marianne Lonsdale Marianne Lonsdale writes personal essays, short stories and literary interviews. She’s slowly cranking out a novel set in Oakland in 1991 about a crazy romance. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Literary Mama, Grown and Flown, Pulse and has aired on KQED. She is a founding member of the Write On Mamas and is honored to be an alumna of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Marianne lives with her husband, Michael, and son, Nicholas, in Oakland, California. Mariannelonsdale.com

Pin It on Pinterest