Little Yellow Notepad

summer-camp

I sit up with a start.

I had just put my baby back into his crib after nursing and I was almost asleep when the thought jolted me awake.

I can’t believe I forgot.

Oh no, oh no, I can’t believe it!

I forgot to send my daughter with her sweater.

I mean, she did have a sweater. Her heavy sweater. But I had put it in her luggage.

And at that very moment, she was taking a red eye flight to camp in Toronto and her sweater is in her luggage.

What if she’s cold on the airplane?!

Oh, how could I do that?? How can I send her on the plane without her sweater?!

I glance at my husband, fast asleep and oblivious to my realization.

I look at the clock. It’s 3:07 am.

I consider waking him to tell him my realization, but then decided against it.

There isn’t much he could do about it, either.

She’s on the plane.

It’s a red eye flight.

She’s flying as a minor.

And she must be so cold!

Blankets.

I’m sure the kind stewardess gave her a blanket.

Yes, she for sure got a blanket.

So she’s not cold.

It’s OK that I put the sweater in her suitcase.

I can go back to sleep now.

Just when I start feeling relaxed, I realize I only sent her heavy sweater.

Why didn’t I send the light sweater too?!

She took her rain jacket.

It rains a lot in camp, so that will be good.

The heavy sweater will be useful, but only if it’s real cold.

But what if it’s cool enough for a sweater but not that cold for a heavy sweater and it’s not raining so a rain jacket would be annoying…oh why didn’t I pack the regular sweater?!

My husband is still sleeping soundly.

I consider waking him up again, but decide it’s not urgent enough.

I take deep breaths and try to relax, and finally fall into a troubled sleep, dreaming about wet sweaters and rain jackets.

After the 37th time I check the camp website, pictures are finally up!

I race through them and finally find my daughter with her bunk. She looks happy!

She’s wearing her rain jacket.

I guess it’s raining. I’m so glad she has her rain jacket.

But then I notice the rest of the girls in her bunk.

They are wearing sweaters.

Regular sweaters, not heavy ones.

Oh no, I should’ve sent her regular one! It probably wasn’t cold enough for the heavy one so she wore her rain jacket instead. Ugh, how uncomfortable!

Wait, maybe it’s raining and she’s the only lucky one with a rain jacket and everyone else is stuck with a wet sweater. Maybe!

Yes, that must be it. I relax.

Postscript:

Finally, calling day! 11:30 am she calls.

Oh, there’s so many questions to ask!

But I tell her I won’t ask any questions; just tell me everything you can in these precious 5 minutes.

She tells me all the important and not so important happenings.

And then I can’t hold myself back anymore; I need to ask.

“Were you cold on the plane?”

“I was freezing! It was so cold!”

“Did they give you a blanket?”

I hold my breath.

“No, there was no blanket. But I slept anyway.”

My heart drops. She was cold! Freezing! How could I do this to her?!

And then she launches into the details of yesterday’s trip to rollerskating and all the other things they’ve done at camp.

That was it.

She wasn’t traumatized for life.

Maybe now is a good time to start facing reality that as they get older, I need to stop micro managing and instead let my kids grow up.

Maybe now is a good time to practice letting go.

 

 

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Image result for bedtime

There’s no such thing as having bedtime down pat. And should you ever feel smug that you’ve gotten it down to a science, know that such thoughts do not go unpunished. The very next night will be mayhem. So if you do have a good night, keep it to yourself; don’t start your consulting business just yet.

Of course there might be nights of systematic and successful bedtime- but don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve won the bedtime war.

It’s just a phase.

The good news is, that although phases do pass, they also do come again.

Bedtime used to be a cinch when I had 3 little ones under 3…I’d deposit each one in their respective cribs, kiss them on the nose and close the door…all before 6:30 pm. I’d walk downstairs with the smallest hint of a smile and a tremendous feeling of success at mastering this 43 second bedtime routine. That might be against the rules in the Big Book of Bedtime Rules, but it worked. No long winded story reading or songs that don’t end. We did plenty of that during daytime hours.

But that phase is long gone.

Some nights just work…and some nights I call it a “jack in the box bedtime.”

Because they keep popping out of bed.

The two year old used to love being tucked in by 6:30 and then would hang out in his crib, chatting with anyone who passed by or with himself, until eventually he’d fall asleep.

But not anymore. After a week of screaming on top of his lungs to come out and begging any favorite sibling to take him out, well, he won. He stays up until the next shift goes.

It’s bedtime again. My husbands is out giving a class so I’m heavily outnumbered. I round up the middle division (ages 2-9) and off we go upstairs. They need to be in their bed if they want me stop in and shmooze. I make the rounds and they are all so sweet and charming.

I head off downstairs, ready to tackle my to do list of yesterday.

I hear some footsteps.

“I’m thirsty.”

“Of course you’re thirsty; it’s bedtime! But if you were sleeping, you wouldn’t be thirsty. Go get a drink.”

I know, I know, I should say wait till the morning. That’s what The Big Book of Bedtime Rules says, but here in this house, sometimes saying yes is a shortcut. Please don’t tell on me.

Off he goes to get a drink. Or at least it seems like he’s going in that direction.

My 7 year old appears. He’s hungry.

“Ok, think about everything you’ll eat for breakfast.”

I hear noise in the other room.

It’s my 6 year old again. He forgot he was getting a drink and is now busy looking for his marbles.

“It’s bedtime, back upstairs.”

He starts giving me some lengthy explanation of the urgency of his marbles.

I remind him to tell it to me tomorrow.

6 year old and 7 year old head upstairs.

And now my 4 year old joins me in the kitchen.

“Can you read me a book?

“Of course. In the morning.”

He knows there’s nothing to discuss so he tries something else.

“I’m thirsty.”

“So take a drink.”

He takes a drink and heads up stairs.

And my six year old is back.

He’s thirsty.

“But you already were thirsty!”

“I forgot to take a drink because I was looking for my marbles!”

Whatever. I can’t get into it.

My nine year old is calling me. He can’t fall asleep with everyone making so much noise.

7 year old is back. He needs to find his papers for tomorrow.

I remind 6 year old and 7 year old that they are sleeping.

They turn to go upstairs and have a direct collision.

They’re both crying as loud as possible and out comes the ice in the shape of frozen hot dogs, to ease their bruises.

My four year old is back.

He doesn’t want to sleep on in his bed.

My nine year old come to tell me again that he can’t fall asleep.

And so I say one of those so-mother things; if you guys don’t want to go to sleep, I’ll go instead!

Everyone heads back upstairs.

Time for the two older ones to go up.

They make their way upstairs and the party starts up once again.

And the light in one of boys’ rooms is on again, for the tenth time.

Thankfully,  the 2 year old is just running a stream of commentary from his crib, minding his own business. And the baby is sleeping. So bedtime is not a total disaster.

See, you do still have a handle on it after all, I tell myself, trying not to feel incompetent. Even if the Big Book of Bedtime Rules for Successful Mothers has different rules than me.

I try to find some patience. I know they will all go to sleep eventually…and I think nostalgically of those days of the smug 46 second bedtime…

And it continues. Every time one gets in, someone else is out. And I hear too much paper rustling coming from there. More than one person is reading.

Then there are those nights where it just works like a charm.

We go upstairs. Everyone gets in bed. They look so sweet and innocent.

I make my rounds and kiss everyone good night. The big kids quietly make their way upstairs at 9 and everything stays nice and calm. I wipe down the counters, just like the moms who follow the Big Book of Bedtime Rules probably do after they finish their successful bedtime routine.

I look at the clock. 9:05 pm. It’s quiet. Maybe I’m one of those successful moms after all.

But deep down, I know something is going on. I know why it’s quiet. I know it’s not because I have it down pat. It’s not because I followed the magical Big Book of Rules.

But I shush that voice. I’m enjoying the moments of feeling successful.

10:05 my 4 year old quietly makes his way down the steps.

He has a sly smile on his face.

“They’re playing cards,” he whispers to me.

“I know,” I whisper back.

He runs back upstairs.

I hear the laughing and the chatter. Of course, when they play at 10 pm when they are supposed to be sleeping, they all get along so well.

I continue to mind my own business. I know they will go to sleep eventually. And they’ll be tired tomorrow. And it’ll be ok.

Hopefully the Successful Mothers of The Big Book of Bedtime Rules won’t find out. Or better yet, maybe I should just rewrite the book, my own way. The way that suits me and my family.

lunchbags2

I’ve discovered the perfect workout that incorporates mind, body and soul. It uses every part of one’s being; there’s movement, there’s memory stimulation, there’s creativity, there’s cardio benefits…you name it, it has it all. It keeps your body young and your brain strong.

It’s called making snack and lunches for your kids to take to school.

Of course every mom knows that to be most efficient, snacks and lunches are to be made the night before school. It’s not rocket science; it’s common sense.

But despite that, I often still don’t do it in advance.

Quite frankly, by the time everyone is in bed and supper is (more or less) cleaned up, the last thing I want to do is get back in the kitchen and start all over again.

I’d much rather plop on the couch and do nothing.

Or sit down with my husband and have a tea.

Or make a list of all the things I didn’t get to on that day.

But I definitely do not want to make snacks and lunches.

I just want a break.

And so I willingly choose the inefficient way.

And it really is the best all body and mind workout you can ask for.

The day starts bright and early and I begin the marathon routine as soon as I get into the kitchen.

“I don’t want a sandwhich.”

“You have to have a lunch.”

“Ok, cheese and ketchup, open in the oven.”

“I want cheese and ketchup closed in the sandwhich maker.”

“Make sure the ketchup reaches the edge of the bread.”

“I want just the cheese, not the ketchup.”

“But yesterday you wanted with ketchup, you sure you don’t want that again?”

“That was yesterday, today I don’t want it.”

“Ok guys, do I have it right,” I ask for the fifth time, as I rotate between the fridge, oven and counters.

“Two open sandwiches no ketchup, one closed sandwich lots of ketchup, three bagels and cream cheese, one closed sandwich only cheese ?”

“No!”

Grr… I gotta work on my memory…

And so we go through it all again.

My hands move, my mouth talks, my brain calculates and dictates and my feet keep running.

“Everyone likes baby carrots, right?”

“Yeah!”

“No!”

“Maybe.”

“Not today.”

“Only yesterday.”

I quietly sneak them into everyone’s lunches anyway, hoping I won’t get caught.

They tell me they need 5 snacks because they get sooooo hungry.

I tell them it’s ok to be hungry.

Pretzels.

“Only the skinny ones!”

“Do we have the big ones?”

“Can I taste some?”

“You guys eat breakfast; this stuff is for school.”

“Hey, what’s that?”

“You’ll see it in your lunch; go eat breakfast.”

It’s my latest experiment recipe of well disguised banana muffins…I know I’ll get caught but I still casually add them to the lunchbags.

Chummus or gaucamole…I can’t seem to remember who wants which one.

Granola bars.

Three want peanut butter, two want regular, two don’t want.

Chips.

Three want plain, two want hot and spicy and two want both – well today we are giving out plain.

There.

One sandwhich.

5 snacks.

7 lunchbags in all different colors, standing straight like soldiers, hoping not to be left at home.

They’ll still tell me they were hungry.

I’ll tell them it’s ok to be hungry.

They’ll tell me they were starving.

I’ll say that’s fine; starving people eat whatever food they have, even if it’s their granola bar that they refuse to touch.

There’s a rhythm to it all, and my workout finally winds down.

Cardio, check.

Muscle toning, check.

Brain stimulation, check.

Creativity, check.

Strengthening memory, check.

Hand-eye coordination, check

True, it’s not the most efficient system.

But who says everything in life has to be done efficiently.

 

bins2

I’ve always had bins of stuff.

Being organized doesn’t mean you throw things out; it means you are very good at storing your stuff in containers. Birthday cards since I turned 4, report cards and other important things like that.

That was what prompted me to get my kids storage containers; I understood the need for stuff,

We put them on a shelf in the garage with clear directions that that’s where all their stuff belonged.

Still, though, odds and ends showed up on my counters, bookshelves and in my cutlery drawers. I dutifully removed anything that didn’t belong in my space and put it in theirs. I was using their containers; they were not.

Time for a new plan. I moved each child’s storage container to his/her room, found a good spot for each one, and we were good to go.

I was ready to reclaim my counters. Only my stuff belonged there.

It was good for a little while and then it started happening again.

I pulled a Siddur off the bookshelf and out came 3 sticky hands and a bouncy ball.

I reached to get a salad bowl in my cabinet and out came two lego guys, one set of lego pants and a strange looking Lego head.

I reminded everyone about the rules. I put the stuff in their boxes.

But it still wasn’t working.

Ok, they needed something convenient. Maybe if it was right near the kitchen, close to the apparently very popular cabinets, counters and drawers, then maybe just maybe they would keep their stuff where it belonged.

I told them I was not going to be the police of their precious stuff. They had to find safe places that didn’t involve me.

And so I figured out the perfect arrangement that would work, for sure.

I fell in love with it at Ikea and knew it was the answer to keeping everything in its place. There was room for books and games, and most importantly, enough cubby space for each of my kids to have their own bin stowed there.

We did the great change-over.

I knew it would work. I could smell success.

They were excited too.

Only a day later I found someone’s collection of plastic frogs in my oven mitt drawer. I quietly put it back and didn’t make a big deal about it.

Then I found a slap bracelet and a light-up pen were my forks belonged.

And yesterday, when I pulled my Pyrex tray out of the milchig cabinet, I got hit by a pack of cards and a bag of marbles.

What is going on here, why aren’t they keeping their stuff where it belongs??

“Whose are these? They belong in your bin!” I called to noone in particular; but it didn’t really matter because the kids were all outside playing; no one heard me anyway.

And it finally clicked.

I was missing the point.

It was not a matter of having a place to keep their stuff.

It was about a place to keep their most precious stuff of all their stuff.

They want it in my kitchen.

They feel safe if it’s in my kitchen.

They feel safe it it’s in my space.

They feel safe if it’s with me.

Me, their mother.

They trust me.

With their most precious items.

Sure, it’s annoying-

But what a compliment!

No matter how hard I’m trying to train them not to trust me, it’s (thankfully!) not working.

I quickly and carefully tuck the cards and marbles into their hiding place behind the rest of the Pyrex trays and close the cabinet door.

They are right.

They can always trust me.

I  will happily take the compliment.

 

 

couch-gag

I hate my couch.

Truthfully, it’s not the end of the world to hate your couch.

But here’s the problem with my couch.

It’s less than a year old. And I chose it.

And I hate it.

The old couches were looking like they needed a bit of an upgrade, and when they marked their tenth birthday, I started scouting for new ones.

Going into a store to browse is something of the past – and the distant future. Online shopping is way less traumatic than having all the kids traipsing through a furniture store.

And so I scouted. And browsed. And searched. And narrowed down my options.

I pride myself in being an experienced mom of boys, so there were two criteria for my new dream couches. 1. All the cushions had to be attached. (If you only have daughters and can’t figure out why, let’s just stay in a boy’s life, anything not attached to its source is meant to be used as a sports ball of any type.)

  1. It had to be a dark color. So that I would not get aggravated with every mark and spill.

And no fabric. Genuine leather or faux leather doesn’t bother me, as long as it can be wiped down.

Pretty easy to please.

I found just the couch I wanted. L-shaped with plenty of space, dark color, cushions attached. I was ready to make the big purchase.

I read the fine print and the big print, up and down, and all the reviews. I got my husband’s approval of the couch and I was good to go.

The couch was delivered on a Friday.

The delivery guys set it up and left.

And before I could even sit down to appreciate it, one of my boys was holding a cushion in his hands.

And then another.

And then gleeful shouting.

And the reality sank in.

The. Cushions. Were. Not. Attached.

Six big brown cushions, to make towers and forts and slides and sleds. All the things of my nightmares, all the things of their dreams.  All the things me, the experienced mother of boys, was so confident about avoiding.

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

I definitely wanted to cry.

The kids were having a blast.

This can’t be happening!

Visions of the next ten years flashed through my mind, threatening, warning, reminding, and repeating to leave the pillows on the couch.

NO! NO! NO!

I found my phone and a quiet corner to call my husband.

“They’re not attached!!” I yelled into the phone.

He wasn’t quite as alarmed as I was, but did voice his surprise, considering the couch description we had seen.

I had to calm down and come up with a plan.

I had to think rationally.

I had to make a reasonable consequence for taking the pillows off the couch.

No Shabbos party for a year?

No, too impractical.

No videos for three years?

No, too harsh.

The squeals and laughs from the other room were interrupting my brainstorming.

After a few more minutes, I had it. Something not too drastic but drastic enough. Something they’d care to lose and was realistic to implement.

I let the kids have a few more minutes of fun and then called an emergency meeting.

In my most serious voice I told the kids that I was establishing a new rule.

No one was allowed to take the pillows off the couch.

The couch is for sitting.

The trampoline is for jumping and the slide outside is for sliding, the climbing dome for climbing.

The couch pillows are for sitting only.

And anyone who would be caught taking the pillows off would lose computer time for three weeks.

They all nodded seriously.

I had a fleeting feeling that it would be ok.

But it didn’t last long.

It took less than an hour till the first kid came to report that someone had taken the pillows off.

And apparently my toddler hadn’t been impressed with the consequence either.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but it really was not a good plan. Because really, if the pillows are not attached, then kids, by definition, will take them off.

I couldn’t keep up. I had lost, royally.

I started avoiding going into the living room and pretending not to see, so that I wouldn’t have to add another three weeks to  the already 5 months computer time that some of the kids had lost, (which I knew about because one of my other kids was counting, because he loves to keep a tally).

And the kids pretended not to remember what I had told them and not to notice that I wasn’t seeing on purpose.

I emailed the company and begged, TAKE IT BACK!! This was false advertising!

They couldn’t do that but offered me a steep discount.

I took it, but that helped my aggravation for only  a few more days.

I hated the couch. I hated seeing six cushions spread across the living room.

It was time to make a decision.

Instead of giving my kids 3 choices, I gave it to myself.

Choice 1: Spend the next 10 years, until we get another couch, being the official Couch Police.

Choice 2: Get rid of the couch.

Choice 3: Figure out a way to not be so bothered by the couch.

I had tried Choice 1 and I really didn’t like it as a career.

Choice 2 wasn’t an option because the couches were only a few weeks old; I couldn’t toss them and just buy new ones.

I was left with Choice 3, which was easier said than done.

Try as I could, the sight of the cushions on the floor was driving me crazy. But I wasn’t ready to give up. I had to figure out a way to deal with it.

And then I thought of it. The 80/20 rule. It fit here perfectly.

I was spending 80% of my energy on something that had less than 20% of importance to my life.

And that didn’t make any sense.

Ok, I hated the couch. Couch cushions on the floor might be a pet peeve of mine, but it did not deserve 80% of my energy.

With a house full of boys, there’s no end to the things I can react to and deplete my energy in no time.

I would make the 80/20 rule my measuring stick.

Sure, I would still remind them to pick up the pillows, put them back and tell them not to make towers.

Sometimes.

And sometimes, or many times, I would ignore it.

But I would keep the bulk of my energy for where I can make positive changes in them as people, and not just in their typical kid behavior.

I would reserve 80% of my energy for where the dividends would be a lot greater than a 20% impact on our family.

And really, that goes for every area in life. Sometimes we put in 80% effort and yield only 20% results and sometimes 20% effort brings the 80% we so badly need.

It was time to re-evaluate what was important. And couch pillows just doesn’t make the list.

 

polls11

This week, for the very first time, I got a call from Gallup doing a study on something or other in America.I declined to participate, but it got me thinking. Coming off election season, it seems all everyone is doing all day is taking polls.

So I figured I’d hop on the bandwagon and do a little study on my own too. Only this one won’t cost us any of tax payer’s money..

The goal of this poll, just like Gallup, is “to deliver relevant, timely, and visionary research on what (children) around the world think and feel. Using impeccable data and behavioral indicators that are vital to strategic plans,” I present to you the Gallup-ing Poll.

To emphasize, all the children in this study are being brought up under the same guidance, environment, rules and adult love and care. Therefore, we cannot say that any of the results are based on the environment, surrounding, exposure or anything of the like. And the results are astounding – see for yourself!

4 out of 7 children, between the ages of 2 – 12, born to the same mother, will put their shoes in their cubby where they are supposed to, while 3 out of 7 will not.

2 out of 8 children will get ready for bed the first time they are told, 1 out of 8 will need to be told 3 times and 5 out of 8 will need to be led by the hand.

And yes, just to reiterate, they are all born to the same mother, raised in the same house with the same rules

2 out of 2 children, between ages 2-3, will prefer to write on the wall than on a sheet of paper.

7 out of 8 children will prefer not to clean up their spot at the table after mealtimes.

4 out of 8 children will need to be told twice, and 3 out of 7 will need to be threatened before clearing their spot.

1 out of 8 children will naturally put their clothing in the hamper.

4 out of 8 children will slurp their spaghetti and ketchup so that it sprays red spots all over the kitchen.

2 out of 8 children will wear their food by the time the meal is over.

2 out of 8 children can wear their clothes for two days straight and it will still be as good as new.

1 out of 8 children needs new shoes every 6 weeks, while 2 out of 8 children can wear their shoes for a year straight and still get more use out of them.

5 out of 8, raised with the same rules, will dump their dirty clothes in any spot they so wish.

1 out of 8 children will only need to be told twice, and then will pick up their clothes and put it in the hamper.

1 out of 8 children will always clean their spot and tidy up around them and leave no trace of their mess.

2 out of 2 children, between the ages of 2-3, enjoy painting toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

0 out of 2 children, between the ages of 2-3, will put the caps back on the markers they are using.

1 out of 1 newly toilet trained child will enjoy pulling a roll of toilet paper as far as it can go.

2 out of 7 children going to school will misbehave and be sent out of class.

1 out of 7 children will not want to go to school.

4 out of 7 children will love going to school every day.

2 out of 7 children who go to school will get dressed the moment they wake up.

3 out of 7 children will wait until 2 minutes before it’s time to leave, and then get dressed.

And there will always be 1 out of 7 children who will start to get dressed 2 minutes after we were supposed to leave.

3 out of 7 children will do homework on their own.

1 out of 7 children will not do homework, ever.

4 out of 8 children look forward to bath/shower night.

2 out of 8 children only want to shower in the morning.

2 out of 8 shower prefer not to shower at all.

2 out of 8 children wear their socks and shoes from the moment they wake up until bedtime.

4 out of 8 children will put on their socks only when they are ready to leave the house.

1 out of 8 children will prefer to go barefoot, both inside and outside.

3 out of 8 children love to read.

2 out of 8 children love to bake.

1 out of 8 children will help in the kitchen when asked.

1 out of 8 children will ask to help.

4 out of 8 children prefer not to help at all.

The conclusion:

8 out of 8 children, growing up in identical environments, will each grow and blossom at their own pace. Each will have their own personality and will not conform to those around them.

Treat each child like their own world. And my fellow parents, let’s stop blaming ourselves for every time one of our children doesn’t act the way we want them to.

They’re all back.

It was one week of camp for boys and one week of camp for girls, and there’s nothing like having them all back under my roof.

This time two of my boys went, which doubled the amount of time I had to spend dissecting pictures.

The camp was so kind and sent 378 pictures over the week. But it’s a double edged sword.

Either I can’t find them, so I panic. Or I find them, but I can’t read the expression on their faces, so I panic. Or the picture catches just a sliver of a right ear, so I panic.

So really, I can’t win.

You’d think by the fourth year of sending kids to winter camp – and it’s only one week – I’d be getting better at it. But nope. It’s just one of the many mysteries of motherhood.

But this time, I really panicked.

I scanned each picture, looking for secret messages of how my boys were doing.

After all, it was my 9-year-old’s first time going to camp; he needed a bit of extra worrying.

The pictures were looking good. I saw the hood of his sweater in one. The tip of his nose in another and I recognized the corner of his sneaker in a third.

And then finally, on hike day, there he is! I can’t see his face, but there he is, walking along the path with everyone.

But wait a second. I take a closer look. I enlarge it on my phone screen. I rotate it.

This doesn’t make sense.

Everyone is walking on a straight path. And my son is walking to the far right. Everyone is going in one direction, and he is going off to the side.

Why is he going off to the side?

I zoom in, I zoom out. Yes, he’s definitely going away from the group.

He’s not a wanderer. But why is he wandering away?

I’m really in a panic.

He’s wandering away and no one even notices.

I check again. Yes, every single kids is focused on walking ahead, and no one sees him wandering off.

Where’s the counselor?

He’s not there. Well, not in the picture.

I quickly forward the picture to my Whatsapp group of close friends, fellow moms who I know would understand my panic.

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? I quickly message. I don’t want to sound to neurotic; I wait to see if they see what I see.

I anxiously wait for an answer. No one replies.

I try to relax. I’m sure everything is OK, I tell myself. Stop overreacting.

I look at the picture again, which hasn’t changed since just a few moments before. He’s still wandering off.

Should I call the camp director and tell him?

No, I can’t be that type of mom.

But what if he did wander off?

I wait an hour, which feels like forever, until my husband gets home.

“Any pictures from camp?” he asks.

“Oh, you bet! Wait till you see this one!”

I try to hid my neurotic-ness and casually show him the hiking picture.

“Nice, they’re going on a hike.” He points to my 9 year old in the photo. “Look, he’s right there, the first in the line.”

“The first in the line? I thought he was wandering off…”

“Wandering off? They’re going around a bend, he’s the first one there, leading the way to the right.”

Oh.

If only moms were gifted with the same (un)common sense as dads.