A chill in the air

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life103 Comments


First things first: my baby girl, who is six months shy of becoming a teen-ager, is on a 12-day cross-country odyssey adventure with her 7th and 8th grade classmates. It’s something this particular school does each year with all grade levels (7 through 12). They go somewhere amazing, sleep in tents, cook their own food, and basically commune with nature. The whole adventure is designed for team building—sort of a baptism by fire for middle schoolers to learn to work together to form the basis for their future success in school. She was completely stoked to go.

Last night was the first night the kids were able to make phone calls home (as they’ve reached their final destination in Wyoming) and I was at a gathering of school moms where one by one, each mom’s cell phone would ring, and very relived mothers would finally hear how their child’s trip was going.

Now I wasn’t here to see Aidan off, because I was on a plane, on my way to Utah last week, for my job. Sigh. But I knew she’d be fine. She’s never been a clingy kid. Quite the opposite. She’s headstrong and confident and likes to make sure you know who’s in charge on any given day. So when my phone rang, and I stepped outside of the bustle of the home I was visiting to hear her more clearly, I guess I wasn’t really prepared for a phone call filled with tears and sadness.

She cried for the whole duration of the 4-1/2 minute phone call.

Nothing was wrong, she wasn’t hurt. She didn’t say, "Can you please come to Wyoming and get me?" But one thing was certain: she missed her mama. She managed to tell me that yes, it was beautiful there, and that she had almost filled up an entire memory card on my little Kodak point and shoot camera, and that she’d had good day, despite almost falling off a mountain during a daily hike, but still… the tears flowed.

She had called Dan a minute before she called me, and according to his report, she seemed a little sad, but certainly wasn’t crying, and was able to report some of the good stuff that had happened thus far. But something in my voice must have tipped the balance for her.

And yes, that loud cracking noise that rang out across the upper midwest last night? That was the sound of my heart snapping in two.

It’s 47 degrees out this morning, and I  had planned to blog about how happy I felt last night pulling out my spice stash to make my favorite low-fat chili, with the onset of fall seeming to come more quickly than any year in recent memory, and how I love these cool mornings that find my Uggs all toasty and warm on my feet, and how my new pajamas are so perfect for cool days and nights…

But right now, I just want my little girl home.

Cathy ZielskeA chill in the air

103 Comments on “A chill in the air”

  1. #1

    I can relate somewhat to what you are feeling, Cathy. My 3-1/2 year old daughter is crying already that she wants to stay home with me and not go to pre-school. She sobs – I wait just outside the door until my tears overtake or I hear her stop. (She usually stops in a few minutes). Ripes my heart, it does. I’m such a sap!
    Janet – WI

  2. #2

    AH!!! Aiden and a chip in her armor. I totally know that I am that way. I can hold back tears like a pro, but when I hear my mother, or she opens her arms to me, the tears just react and flow! It is something about your mom that just sends every bit of you out the window and you return to that infant mode and all that you need a hug or in this case, the sound of her voice. Great post

  3. #3

    If I’m feeling blue and my mom happens to call, look out! Because here comes the tears. It is something about your mama that makes you feel safe and feel like you can let go of everything you have worked so hard to keep bottled up for the last however many days. What a good mom you must be for her to feel that way around you! Don’t worry, she’ll be home soon!

  4. #4

    Damn you, Cathy.
    Tears were not on the breakfast menu.
    What a sweet story, hope she is home soon 🙂

  5. #5

    Hang in there, you’ll both survive somehow, albeit with large piles of tissues to cart to the trash can. My son’s 8th grade class went on a 5 day camping trip last year at this time…and they weren’t allowed to bring phones or call home at all. I was worried at the time, but in retrospect I am glad that he and I didn’t have to cry (me) or tear up (him) during a phone call. He was so tired when he got home that he didn’t seem to notice my tears in the car…and I could focus on the fact that he hadn’t brushed his $7500 beautiful post-braces teeth for 5 days, nor changed his clothes once! It sure is hard being a parent!

  6. #6
    Allison Gottlieb

    Nothing like a child’s cry that makes your heart cry out as well. I have tears in my own eyes just thinking about what you must be feeling. Hopefully, she hung up the phone and felt much better, and is currently have a wonderful time. Enjoy the cold day – I am here in my jeans, and very happy about it. If only it could not get any cooler. A girl can dream.

  7. #8

    you usually make me laugh but today you made me cry. Because I know this will come for me…the day when my daughter goes off on a trip, oh crap, I don’t even want to think about it.
    She will be great!She will have a wonderful time and will be glad that she went.

  8. #9
    Katie Scott

    Ohh that is so sweet. I’ve got a little girl with that same independent spirit so I just eat up whenever she gets a little clingy (it doesn’t happen very often).

  9. #10
    melanie louette

    Awww Cathy.. I feel for you!! ((((hugs))))
    I’ll be dealing with this situation soon(school field trip coming up) and it will be the first time ever my boy will be away from me for several days.I’m kind of dreading it… courage to you!( and me, lol)

  10. #11
    Wendy Treseder

    Nothing breaks my heart more than when one of my kids heart is breaking. It’s even worse when they do it to you over the phone! My very independant daughter started doing the same thing to me, at 15 and those phone calls are some of the most stressful minutes of my life. You just want to crawl down the phone line and hug them.
    I’m sure Aiden was probably fine 10 minutes after she got off the phone to you, just needed to cry to someone safe.
    Hugs to you – you can at least look forward to a joyful homecoming soon.

  11. #12

    It never gets better. My daughter, who is 32, is a confident adventurer who lives in Germany and works for the aerospace industry. And I’m fine most of the time because I know she’s happy; she’s mapped out a path and is determined to walk into the future. But when she cries it still breaks my heart.

  12. #13

    What an experience for Aidan! I don’t think I’ve gone that long without talking to my Mom and I am 35! It is nice to know she is still your little girl. Can’t wait to hear about her homecoming! PS – thanks for the running mascara.

  13. #16

    my daughter was brave enough to move more than a thousand miles away after high school (of course, she had her brother), but she still needs her mommy. she always thinks of me when something great happens and when she’s sad. and hearing her cry still breaks my heart. maybe now more than ever, b/c the days when i could fix any wrong are gone. all i can do is listen and make comforting sounds.

  14. #17

    Mom Radar is one of the most amazing tools I’ve ever known. I remember going away for the first time and being totally panicked even though I was like Aidan, very independent and headstrong. I got over it a couple of days in, but hearing my mom on the phone was a little meltdown moment for me too.

    Take comfort in the fact that with Dan she was pretty ok – chances are it was the Mom Is Worried voice that gave her permission to let out what she was holding in, and now she’s back to enjoying herself.

  15. #18
    Wendy H.

    You brought tears to my eyes, there is nothing like your mom!! My kids are in 1st and 3rd grades. I am certainly not ready for them to have that adventure.

    I hope she’s home soon! I would love to read a blog from Aiden on her 12 day adventure!

  16. #19

    I read your blog regularly but never have commented before. You write so beautifully and I enjoy your stories of family very much. My children are about the same age as yours and when I read this story of your almost 13 year old daughter I could relate. You see, my daughter just turned 13 and had gone away for cheerleading camp this summer. It was the first time away from home for her. She had done the same thing… talk with her Dad and seem sad but fine. Only to get on the phone with me to lose it. I felt terrible the whole time she was away. I worried if the other girls were nice to her, worried that she was sleeping okay and on and on. She called every night and I tried to stay positive but inside I felt like dieing (or driving to camp to pick her up!). To make a long story short… she returned home four days later happy and safe. I asked her “Would you return camp next year”? She said “Yes“. Go figure! Hang in there. It feels endless for you but it is good for her! And yes… 13 year old girls still need their Mammas. I will be looking forward to seeing how she did once she returns home.

  17. #20

    Wyoming!!! Holy smokes – ours go up the road to Warm Beach for three nights and I’m dreading it…two years away! She’s fine, safe, and with friends, but every girl needs her mama, really, 12 days seems like forever to ME!

  18. #21

    Isn’t it awful when that happens? My daughter went on a trip with her class this past spring to a camp that is about an hour away from us. I’m not sure which one of us had it worst. I missed her, she missed me and when she got home, she was glued to my side for days afterward.

    I hope the rest of the trip goes quickly and safely and that your daughter is home with you very, very soon.

  19. #22

    I can’t even imagine how hard it was to have your baby crying to you and being so far away that you can’t even hold her.
    and the fact that it is not like her must make it even harder on you. I feel for you.

    Here to a little girl who will return soon and you will see she only seems little from so far away.

  20. #23

    My heart goes out to you… It’s one of the hard things about being a mum, I found – an invisible and particularly sensitive antenna beween mum and daughter which allows for vulnerability and tears. I can always tell from my daughter’s tone (now aged 25) when something is going on with her – but DH can’t. And it doesn’t show up in his chatting with her. I wish I could tell you “this too will pass”, Cathy – but I can’t. I’ve learnt to cherish it, however painful – DD has the assurance that she doesn’t have to hide any parts of herself, and trusts they will always be received with warmth, concern and love. x alexa

  21. #26

    My daughter, Claire, very similar to your Aidan, made a similar trip with her class in grade 7, last year. They go again at the end of the month with the new-ish grade 8 group. I could have written the identical post except they were not allowed to call home! The good news? She’ll be home soon. The better news? She will have learned a ton about herself and it will be all good 🙂 HUGS!

  22. #27

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Big hugs for BOTH of you. That is so neat that she misses you – gosh, what a reunion it’s going to be for the two of you. I can only imagine. And with this chill in the air you can bundle up together under a big quilt and snuggle the night away – momma and girlie.

  23. #28
    Gutsy Mom

    This post has me crying and laughing on about 60 different levels. When I was in middle school and high school, I loved every camp and outdoor adventure I went on, but I know I did the same thing to my mom every time–okay talking with Dad or brothers, lost my marbles talking to Mom. I now face a similar thing dropping my daughter off for preschool. She cries when I am the one to drop her off, but not if someone else does it. She is always happily playing when we pick her up. And, now, I am 32 and living in Germany, (but not the daughter of the Vicki whose comment sounds a bit like she’s my mom!), and I STILL find myself crying on the phone to my mom–unexpectedly for both of us! I only pray that my daughter will want to have me be the one she can cry to for the rest of my life!

  24. #29

    listen – there is something in my own mama’s voice that can make me cry when I’m vulnerable – and I am 40 years old!! LOL

    hugs to you both –

  25. #31

    Hugs from Alabama. At the same age, I called my mother and she did come get me………I always regreted that I didn’t stay…….they had a great time. Patty

  26. #32

    Things that make a mothers heart crack wide open. See she does need you. You mean a lot to her….words don’t express that enough! Be ready to give her a huge hug (when her friends aren’t watching)LOL!

  27. #33
    Ann Grounds

    Hugs to you Cathy. I now will be prepared for when my 8 yr old headstrong, determined, “in-charge” little girl takes her first adventure! And just think, I was going to send her to summer camp this last summer for a week. Having second thoughts-but not really–she will be fine and Aidan will be fine too.

  28. #34

    I melt into a puddle if I’m not feeling well and I talk to my mom. Like after labor with my first, it was tough, but I was fine, until my mom walked in. If everyone else wouldn’t have walked in with her I would broke down and bawled my eyes out telling her how hard it was. No matter how tough or how old we get sometimes we just want our mommies!

  29. #35

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt moment. I will be thinking of you and your daughter. My only one started kindergarten three weeks ago, and I still miss my little sidekick, even though she walks away each morning excited as can be.

    We try so hard to hold it all together, to let them find their way, and it’s moments like the one you describe that remind us how fragile our own emotions are as we try to do what’s best by them. Until she returns to you, may you cherish the thought that she still wants and needs her momma…may she always feel that way.

  30. #37

    you should be so proud of her about her confidence and her independence…and the fact that she still needs her mama! proof that you are doing an incredible job raising this girl who will one day grow into a beautiful strong woman who somedays will still need her mama. thank goodness that they wander, but always turn around and reach for us again and again. hugs to you today cathy! ciao!

  31. #38

    I come to you for laughs but today I got tears! I, too, have a 12 year old and I’d have to be tied down to keep from running to get her. Just think how much she’ll apreciate you when she gets home!

  32. #39

    Hugs to you, Momma…to get you through until your baby bird flies back to the nest. 🙂 I’m familiar w/that momma’s broken heart feeling. Glad to hear Aidan’s having a good time though! Will you be sharing any of the pictures of her adventure? Sounds like a terrific school that she goes to! Again, hugs to you CZ. 🙂

  33. #40
    Cindy Gordon

    Cathy – oh my, the feelings this post brought up in me. My 23 year old son is deployed in Iraq and I thought you’d like to know that age nor gender make any difference when “babies” need their “mamas”. He told his new young wife that he was afraid to call home because he wasn’t sure he could keep it together like the man he is if he heard my voice. There is just something between a mama and her child. Makes me remember when I went to Navy boot camp (decades ago and another lifetime…) and I got my first call back home and all I could do was cry non-stop. And like your beautfiul daughter, there was nothing wrong. It was the sound of home, the sound of mother’s voice, and the longing to be in a place I never knew I would miss that much. I think that cracking noise was not actually your heart breaking as much as it was your heart expanding to take it all in. And take it from me, take it ALL in because it goes too damn fast. With compassion from Tejas – Cindy Gordon

  34. #41

    every girl needs her mama. I have missed mine every day for the last 33 years. She died from breast cancer when I was 11. I can still hear her voice urging me on to be brave and to ‘take care of business’, even through “Outdoor Lab” Colorado’s version of Aiden’s camping experience. She will come home with a new appreciation for you, Dan and even Cole. and clean sheets.
    Roots and wings,
    Olympia, WA

  35. #43
    Nancy Lee

    Cathy, I wish I could write like you. You described so eloquently a mother’s feelings when she hears her child’s tears over the phone. I have been there, felt that and even though my children are grown, there are still occasions when I hear the tears in their voices and grip the phone and tell them that if they were with me I would be hugging them tightly.

  36. #44
    Sue in Grapevine

    Right there with ya Cathy. Mine are 23 & 20, but I still hurt more when they hurt than I ever do for myself.
    Here’s a quote that I feel sums it up:
    “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
    Elizabeth Stone

  37. #46

    Hang in there Cathy! My oldest is 13 and I can totally relate. Most of the time I don’t exsist unless she needs a ride or wants me to buy her something but then every once in a while, she still “needs” her mommy. Sorry you are going through these mommy pains….but this too shall pass!

  38. #47

    That’s so sweet. I can’t imagine not having my boys around every night. I wish them away sometimes when all three seems to be singing their own song as loud as possible but to think sooner then later they to will be old enough to go on over night trips saddens me.
    That chili looks like the perfect comfort food to sooth the pain. Have you tried it with ground turkey?

  39. #49

    ok this totally made me cry. My baby went off to Kindergarten 2 weeks ago. all was seemingly well as I greeted a cherry kid each day but last week she was particularly gloomy one day and I learned she had hurt her foot on the playground and needed a bandaid and she told me she cried because she wanted her mommy there. (not the school nurse). and was sad the rest of the day. about tore my heart in two…

  40. #50
    Wendy Copley

    Oh man — I can totally relate from both sides. There’s nothing like the sound of my mom’s voice — especially when there’s even a touch of concern in it — to set me off when I am having a hard time. And I’ve seen my concern set my brave little three-year-old off when I ask, “Are you a little sad?” too. Then we both start to cry. Moms are good like that.

  41. #51

    Ouch! Oh hun my heart truly aches for you both but I know the homecoming will be even sweeter know. Chin up!
    Hugs from across the pond

  42. #52

    You made me cry! Mostly because I remember a time when my girls returned from visiting their dad. My oldest was about 15 at the time and had always been very close to her dad. I thought she could take me or leave me. But when she got off the plane, she gave me the biggest hug. I asked if she had a good time and she shrugged and said, “I guess, but I’m glad I’m home. I now know I’m a Momma’s Girl!” I cried then too.

  43. #53

    Here’s the thing, every hair on my arm is on end and I almost have a headache trying not to cry, but it’s not because I’m empathizing with you. I’m not a mom. But oh, I totally get Aidan.

    I wasn’t shy, I was and still am quite self-sufficient, I had friends and was successful at things and not afraid to be different. But those moments growing up when the smallest thing would be the one thing that made me cry… oh I remember that.

    It was usually missing my mom or feeling bad I disappointed my mom or being hurt by my mom. But it’s always mom. I think, Cathy, it means you’re doing a fantastic job because you’re raising the beautifully unique and independent and creative girl who is still tender enough to feel and let you know it, even when she wishes she could suck it up.

    I imagine you are heart broken, but while you’re heart broken don’t forget to be really proud that she became this perfect girl who has a balance of tough and tender.

    I’ll say a little prayer for you today.:)


  44. #55

    Some things never change. I just sent my 21-year-old married daughter 600 miles away to Arizona with her husband for his graduate schooling. They both just graduated from BYU. It killed me. It’s been tough for her, too. We just stood there talking about everything under the sun, avoiding that last hug before they had to hit the road…as if we could stay the inevitable. But my last words were, as hard as this is I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’ll all be good. But boy, I sure am reiterating to the 4 daughters to follow…hey, remember the deal about not going further than a 50-mile radius when you grow up. Loved the previous comment about roots and wings.

    The reunions will be so sweet.

  45. #56

    Awww, it’s totally hearing mom’s voice that’ll do that when you are on the verge and barely holding it together. Always has been that way and always will. She’ll come home, the tears will be forgotten, and her foray into the world sans mom and dad will be a happy memory. But in the meantime, this brought tears to my eyes.

  46. #57

    My 12 year old son went to scout camp this summer. For a week. Well, a week *just* being Monday-Saturday. He sent two letters in one envelope…please, please, please come up on family night. It was the book release for Breaking Dawn that Friday night. We went to scout camp 🙂

  47. #58

    47 degrees…. I am completely jealous. It was 80 when I woke up this morning. I hate Florida. *sigh*

  48. #62

    aw…I can relate, just took my oldest dd to college – she’s doing fine, but I miss her so much -and when she says “I miss you Mom” – ugh!! (waterworks on my end!)((hugs)) to both of you!

  49. #64

    Hey Cath… My 7th grader just went through this – called me from overnight camp and was whispering in the phone, “Mom, I can’t do this. I just don’t think I can do this”. And then, that silent moment when you know they are doing everything in their power not to let it loose in public. My son couldn’t keep it in…Trying to talk between efforts to stifle deep sobs. It was torturous for me and the moment the phone call ended, I sobbed, too. I wanted desperately to go get him, but I knew I couldn’t. My heart, too, broke that day… It makes me appreciate, more and more, how much being a parent really means… Not running them here and there, not getting them the things they need…No, it means being there and letting your heart break and realizing that the job you do as a Mom will never be wasted…

    PS-When I picked him up the next day at school, he hugged me right there – in front of everyone. Wouldn’t let go… Being there for him on the phone deepened our relationship. He’s growing up to be a teenager (13 in the spring) and drives me nuts sometimes, but that time will always be remembered by both of us as that moment when the relationship changed…for the very best…

    Hang in there… And thanks for being vulnerable.

  50. #66

    Ok, so, I’m a new reader of your blog – of a week or so – and as I read this post, even though I really don’t even know you, I am sitting here sobbing. I guess that goes to show you that we moms are all alike! Keep your chin up!

  51. #67

    Oh, Cathy, I can so relate. Two weeks ago I took MY little girl, my baby (19) to college, far far away from home, where she knew not one other soul. She was thrilled and excited to go…until we got there and she started anticipating my departure. She cried and cried, and continued to, for a week after I left. Like Aiden, she is typically confident and in charge, so this was something of a surprise and left me feeling helpless, without the tools or references to past experiences of hers to remind her of. Now, almost three weeks later, she is finding her way, joining clubs and activities, and adjusting slowly. Maybe experiences like Aiden’s having will make it easier for her later…

  52. #68

    Aaaahhhh!! That brought tears to my eyes – brings back memories of when my daughter went on a school trip! And, I’m exactly the same – I can hold it all together until I talk to my mum and then the floodgates open! It’s a special mother/daughter thing!!
    Hope she’ll be back home soon!

  53. #69
    Jo E

    I’m fighting back the tears as I write. I never really had that closeness with my Mum but realising that I have achieved this with my daughter makes me glow with happiness. Thanks Cathy.

  54. #70

    My heart goes out to you….hope she calls you back with a happy voice soon…….i had trouble watching my oldest go off to first grade just for the day…..wyoming is one of my favorite spots, maybe today is a better day!

  55. #71

    Oh dear me! This brought tears to my eyes! I have been there! When my daughter left for college, I started crying in April and she didn’t leave until August! Hardest few months of my entire life…OY. But there is light at the end of the tunnel!

    Now she is a senior, 21 years old and at the end of her few and far between 2 week stays at home, I’m ready to pack her bags and send her back to Chapel Hill;)


  56. #72

    Cathy – it never gets any easier. My sons are 25 and 23 and all I want is to have them back with me. There’s nothing like having them near and sharing our lives with each other. My house is a “home” when they are here…and I am a much happier “Mom”.

    PS…love chili! I need to make some in my crockpot this year.

  57. #73

    Oh, I’ve been that little girl! What is it about mothers’ voices?
    Yet, I still wonder, will my children ever really feel like that when they are older (they’re 6, 4, and 2)?

  58. #75

    First of all, 12 days?! Wow, what a trip! I had tears in my eyes because I totally understand. I don’t have any daughters (two sons) but my oldest, while he probably wouldn’t cry per se, he would call every chance he got and he’d tell me many, many times how much he loves me and how much he misses all of us back home. I would cry after I hung up, I know it (it’s happened!).

    Make that chili, put on those Uggs, and feel warm in the feeling that she loves you and misses you, and that you’ll see her sooner than it seems right now.

    Cheers to you all!

  59. #76

    That is so sweet! I’m letting my dog lick the tears off my cheek! Hearing about Aiden crying is so heartbreaking, but revealing about how much she loves you guys!

    After my first year in college I stayed out there for the summer, but I called home every day (collect!) to talk to my dad and ran up a $300 phone bill for them to pay.

  60. #77
    maple jenny

    Oh, my heart is with you. I had to miss my son’s first day of kindergarten–I teach high school. What broke me up was fixing his lunch the night before. Aidan’s growing up–it’s hard, but she’ll do a great job because you are doing a great job.

  61. #80

    This so reminds me of my call home to my mom from a phonebooth in Italy. I was standing in the most beautiful place in the world and I could not stop crying as I spoke with my Mom. I missed her so much.

    I was 31 lol.


  62. #82

    awwwww, Cathy, it’s okay. You’ve just done a rite of passage. For me, my darling son went to Washington DC as an 8th grader (we live in California) as well as New York City and almost everyplace in between. I’ve never felt so helpless as I did when, halfway through the trip, my son texted me that he thought he had strep….. AND HE DID. Nothing is worse than that helpless feeling… NOTHING.

    On another note, um, I must be the lamest student ever. For your class? What should those enlargements be photos of?? I’m SO very lame. I’m sorry. 🙂

  63. #83

    Motherhood is like that…you ache when your kid aches no matter what age they are (my boys are 21 and 23)…I don’t think that ever ends.

  64. #84

    I don’t have kids, but I can kind of relate…. started my new job working at the elementary school that houses just K and 1. My entire week last week was SO OVERWHELMING and FRUSTRATING. I am not typically a crier, but I cried almost every day after school and had to talk myself into going back the next day. It broke my heart with all of the little kids who start crying and always exclaim “I want my mom…” Truth be told, I wanted my mom, too! Unfortunately, where I was once just 4 minutes away from my parents, I now moved 7 hours away… as the kids soon learn, every day is a new adventure and gets better than the last. We’ll all try to hang in there together!

  65. #85

    So it’s not going to get better, huh? My 2 year old – she loves being with my sister and her cousin while I’m at work, but lately, when we get up first thing, she tells me “It’s Saturday -stay HOME,” very adamant. I hate to break it to her that its TUesday. 😛

    Take a look at apple.com – it will make you feel better. New iPod touch today that is more iPhone like, without AT&T nastiness.

    And finally, after years of waiting, an orange iPod (nano)! I’m torn.

  66. #87

    My 13 year old will be going to Washington D.C. in 6 weeks. She is a very nervous child and I am already worried about this trip. Thanks for sharing your story. Now maybe I’ll be prepared!

  67. #89

    Oh Cathy,
    I can totally relate. My son,a 7th grader went on his outdoor adventure this Monday as well. Fortunately, its for three days only. But I still haven’t spoken to him since I dropped him off on Monday at 7:47 am, lol. He did text me last nite and say goodnite I love you. Talk about melting heart.But I totally with ya girlfriend !

  68. #90

    Oh, my heart goes out to you. I can fully understand. I haven’t seen my “baby” in 15 months! Ok, so he’s 23 now, but lives on the opposite coast now than I do. I’m on the East coast; he on the West. I MISS MY BABY! We so have to plan a trip SOON so we can see each other.

    Hope you’re “little” girl is home soon so you can give her a big bear hug!

  69. #91
    Tammy B

    Wow! 12 days is a long time for young people to be so far away from their parents, but I’m sure Aidan will be brave and hang in there for an amazing trip. My 11 year old is going on a school camp next week, only for three days. He’s never slept away from home without at least having his brother there. This will be a great right of passage for him and for us. And when I sound sad on the phone, my dad always says “Keep your chin up.”.

  70. #92

    This past summer, I sent my 12 year old son (and only child) 4000 miles away from me for a week. He had won a prestigious prize in a Canada-wide history fair and deserved this wonderful opportunity to meet other similarly gifted children from across the country who had won the competitions within their own provinces (think: states)and explore the local history of Canada’s West Coast.

    It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my son, and I was so happy to send him. And I cried every single night he was away.

    HE, on the other hand, loved it. He was doing cool things, he was buying souvenirs with his own brand new debit card, and he had a 2 GB card in his camera. Child was in heaven.

    But still, on the fifth day, he called me to say, “Amah, I want to be home. I miss you, I miss my cat, I miss my room.” And that was truly the first moment that I finally understood something my own father had told me twenty years previous: no matter how old you get, you will always be my baby.

  71. #93

    My 19-year old – Miss Independence – called her second night working as a GS counsellor in June just to hear me say Goodnight Sweetheart. I was in tears – needless to say she got a text every night (phone calls were forbidden during the week). You’ll make it and she will come home with stories of how much fun she had.

  72. #94
    A mom in Vancouver BC

    Aww, Cathy ! My heart is breaking for/with you. If you are still reading these comments… I REALLY understand how you feel: at this very moment my daughter too is gone on a wilderness trip with her school ! It’s an annual thing, and this is her 5th and final year – she’s in Gr. 12. She can’t phone; there is no cell coverage where they are.

    Now, I am a former Outdoor Ed major and truly believe in the value of outdoor ed for kids, but I have an anxious personality (umm, that’s putting it mildly; OK,the truth is, I have an anxiety disorder). I have worked hard to not pass this on to my daughter – I want her to feel safe and confident in the world. For the most part, she does, but she has a tender heart and is still very “connected” to home/parents.

    She’s 16 so a few years older than your dear Aiden, and she has been lucky to have a lot of travel experiences under her belt, but the emotional difficulty of being far from home – with no way to contact each other – is still not easy.

    She doesn’t hate these trips, but doesn’t love them either. They sleep under tarps, not in tents. She will be rock-climbing for 3 days and she is afraid of heights. And she was assigned to a group with many cliquey not-so-friendly girls. It will be a challenging trip, in many respects.

    I hope you get my drift. Oh, I know that heart-cracking feeling all too well. I share your pain… and I want my girl home ! Sniff sniff.. ackk ! Hang in there !

    P.S. I met you at CKU Vancouver and have been a loyal book-and-blog-reading fan ever since !

  73. #97

    Oh dear Lord I hear ya Cathy!!! So sorry you’re feeling the true pains of being a mom. Ya see, I just delivered my “baby” to college last weekend. I’ve heard every well meaning phrase from people that I want (or didn’t want) to hear; how it’s meant to be and how he is excited to go, and how it’ll get better. Yeah, I know all that. But like you said…..I just want my boy back home. Life without him walking around the house everyday is just NOT the same and I just simply miss him dang it. No matter how good and right this part of life is….it still hurts; and even though I know it’s gotta get better, I still desperately miss him in my life every day. So I hear ya and I feel your pain! Hugs to one mamma from another.

  74. #98

    No matter how tough you are, if you are feeling the slightest bit vulnerable or hurt and your mom asks you if you’re ok, the water works will flow. She’s probably having the time of her life and will excitedly tell you all about it while showing you her photos. One things for sure, she loves her mama!

  75. #101
    Jann in Idaho

    That means dear one…that her heart is in the right and correct place.
    I commend you….on being such a terrific Mom. We do all need them from time to time…and good and endearing ones…never leave our minds and hearts…..:o)

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