It’s hard to remember the last time my son went away for more than an overnight visit.
Today, he is nine and very excited about going camping hundreds of miles away from me in the Smokey Mountains for a whole week.
I on the other hand am a bit of a mess.
We awoke early to make breakfast and eat together before the big RV pulled up to take my little boy far, far away from my mama bear paws. We ate and shared hugs until our time was up. He seemed so much more innocent and little and vulnerable than I usually see him.
As my heart drove away off into the big world without me I thought about his little jokes and his dirty knees. I looked up to the heavens and told my grandmother to watch him for me…actually I told every soul I know who has past to make sure he comes home in one piece.
Instead of spending this week being anxious and worried I decided I would see the universe giving me a chance to rediscover myself. A whole week of “me” time. What do I do now?
It takes some getting used to just being a “Me” not a “We”. The first day was spent reading, taking multiple walks, sitting quiet, and a nap. As a single lady on multiple dating sites, instead of using this time to go on dates every night I decided instead to delete all my accounts. I was going to use this week to date myself, to really give a full week to just me. My phone became quiet and it was nice.
The next day I dressed myself up and took myself to a movie. All alone I sat eating candy in the back row. I haven’t been to a movie alone since I took a film class in college. After the movie I browsed the book store for hours, read a full magazine cover to cover. I took myself out to dinner, visited friends and stayed out past nine.
I caught up on doctor’s appointments and to-do lists. I took long drives. I sat on benches with no phone and no time checking. I watched people, mostly mothers with their children. I didn’t have to pick up anyone from camp or take anyone to karate. I had just me to cook for and just me to take care of.
I realized how much longer days are and how slow time can go. Mothers carry weight, we are the protectors and the givers. We deserve a retreat. All women do.
I spent my last night laying under the moon. Thanking my grandmom. Wondering why my son’s soul chose me.
Tomorrow I will pack my rental car and drive down to the Smokey Mountains to pick up my little man.
I will share with him how I kept hearing his favorite song and I will hug him tight.
I will listen to his stories of his adventure. We will both be different and new.
Together we will start our adventure.
Oh and one more thing: I learned that I like story telling. I believe it’s part of being a woman and a mother. I learned that I too can share my stories. In the mist of my retreat I wrote my first story, from my heart and shared it with you.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: courtesy of the author