There Really Is A Little Boy In There

Sometimes it’s easy to forget there is really a little boy in there…especially when your kiddo is big for his age. I had a reminder today how much Joey really still needs me.

Today, Joey’s Boy Scout troop left for summer camp. It’s his first long camping trip with the troop. Sure, there have been a bunch of weekend camping trips but this is the first one that lasts more than two days. Joey has been really looking forward to this trip. He has been so excited about it…talking about the hiking…looking forward to the swimming. Hell, he even started gathering stuff from the packing list by himself. I honestly wasn’t anticipating any problems.

But, when I went in to wake him up this morning, he started moaning about how he didn’t want to go anymore. He was saying he didn’t think it would be fun. This shocked the hell out of me. Sure, before he bridged up to Boy Scouts, Joey expressed concern about camping without me but, once he was in the troop, he loved every minute of it. I thought we weren’t going to have to worry about insecurity and homesickness. I was wrong.

I tried explaining to Joey that it was normal to be nervous. He promptly denied being nervous at all. He just said he didn’t think it would be fun and what if he didn’t like the activities and it had nothing to do with nervousness. Yeah, sure. I did give up on that discussion. I simply told him that the troop had paid for him to go and that meant he was obligated to go. We were not going to waste the troop funds that they graciously helped us out with. Joey was almost near tears and I felt like a total heel insisting he had to go. But, if I gave in, he wouldn’t learn anything…he wouldn’t grow…he wouldn’t develop independence. But, I still felt like shit because I could tell how nervous he was.

Luckily, Gabe came to the rescue. Gabe was drawing funny pictures and ended up totally cracking Joey up. I suggested Joey take one of the pictures with him and, if he wasn’t having a good time, all he would have to do is look at the picture and he’d start laughing. Joey asked Gabe if he could take the picture with him and Gabe was thrilled with the idea.

Once Joey had the picture in hand and he figured out I wasn’t going to give in, he turned himself around and seemed eager to go again. He jumped right into the thick of it once we got to the meeting point and there were definitely plenty of boys for him to have fun with.

Do me a favor and keep your fingers crossed that he has a good time this week. I want this to be a wonderful experience for my not-so-little little boy.

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