The Outsider: Birthday blues

It’s the eve of his 10th birthday. 

Yes, the day before he hits double figures. And, what does my boy, Little Z, do? He ups and leaves for summer camp. Just like that, with no thought for how his mother and I might cope without him. He insists we take him to Camp Medeba.

Normally, I’d be pleased with this outcome. My little boy has had the odd issue with separation from his parents. He likes us close. By that, I mean he still occasionally wanders into our bedroom and snuggles up the centre of the bed in the middle of the night. He is somewhat insistent that we both come see him do his latest sporting craze. If a date night to Rhubarb is mentioned, he knows what he’s going to eat before we’ve had a chance to ditch him and drive to the restaurant. 

So, you might think I’d be happy at a kid-free week; the first time ever that he’s stayed away for more than a night. But, it’s his birthday tomorrow and he won’t be here to celebrate it. 

I don’t know how my lovely wife is going to cope. She’s already wandering forlornly around the house picking up all the general detritus that an almost 10-year-old boy leaves lying in his wake. I can see she wishes that he was here making more mess for her to tidy. I haven’t seen her sniff one of his worn T-shirts as yet and I’d advise her not to because you never know where he’s been but I’m sure it’s going to happen soon. As for me, I’m a little troubled as to who is going to build all the new Lego Star Wars kits with me that grandma has sent, and a battle with the new Nerf guns won’t be half as much fun without Little Z. 

I guess I should look on the bright side. Time alone with my lovely wife, with guaranteed no interlopers in our bed. Not a chance of walking bleary-eyed downstairs in the morning and treading on an errant Lego brick. No need to shout at my son for shooting Jeff the dog with his new Nerf guns because, “daddy is too lame to play another round.” And a wonderfully tidy house that will stay that way until at least next Sunday when my little man comes home. 

There are many benefits to my almost 10-year-old boy going to camp, for me as well as him. I’m still going to miss him on his birthday. I’m gonna’ be sad tomorrow because my little boy is becoming just a bit independent and if the next 10 years go as quickly as the last, he’ll be moving out for good before I know it. 

Hmm, now I’ve said it, that doesn’t sound too bad. Maybe he can just come back on his birthdays … just don’t tell his mother I said that.

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