Every day, I am reminded of how quickly time passes. My kids will only be little for a very short period of time. As working parents, we always tend to wish the days away in order to get to the weekends when we can take a deep breath, relax, and prep for another busy week ahead. This year, I am trying to make a conscious effort to not do that. I want to live in the moment and enjoy every second I have with my kids.
Nicholas will be 7-years-old in April. 7!!! 7-years-old is a big deal for hemophiliacs. It means he can go to camp! Yesterday, I received his very first camp application. Nicholas is a very independent, fun-loving, active little boy. I think he was about 3-years-old when he found out that he gets to go to camp. He has been packing and preparing for it ever since. He knows that he will get to sleep in a cabin with other kids (without his parents.) He will get to go swimming (without his parents). He will get to go horseback riding (without his parents). He will get to eat meals in a dining hall (without his parents). He will get to be with a bunch of other kids around his age that ALL have bleeding disorders too (without his parents).
I can’t even begin to explain how excited he is. When I asked him if he will be ok with going to bed every night without us, getting on a plane, without us, his response was, “YES!” I know that as parents we want our kids to be independent, but come on! Is he going to miss us at all? He could have, at least, hesitated a little bit!
However, I am not that excited. My little baby boy, isn’t a baby anymore. He is going to get on a plane, without me, and fly to a camp for almost a week. I totally thought I would be fine with this. As the reality is setting in, I am not so fine with this. I am nervous and scared. He has only ever stayed away from home once. It was at my brother’s house and my parents, who are around my children often, were there as well. I know he will have an amazing, life changing experience at camp. I know he will build friendships that will last a lifetime. I know he will learn to become an independent hemophiliac and learn to self-infuse. I know all of these things are wonderful, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
As hemophilia moms, we want to control everything. We want to make sure that he gets his medicine on time. We want to be there when he gets hurt. For us, the more we know, the more we can control. Camp is totally outside of our control and while it is a very safe place, it still scares the life out me! It means that our babies are growing up, and growing up fast. As I fill out the paperwork, I can shed my tears but, I will send him to camp. If he is ready, I shouldn’t hold him back because I am not so ready.
I am just going to enjoy every moment with my kids now and remind myself that while I can’t slow time down, I can slow myself down. I am going to hold strong and when he boards that plane, I will smile and wave. I will hold back the tears for my car ride home. At least, I know that the week will go by quickly and he will be home before I know it! I will continue to remind myself that this independence is a good thing. Someone once said, “To raise a child, who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you have done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own.”
Carrie lives with her husband Mark, and 6-year-old son, Nicholas, and 2-year-old daughter, Aleesia, in Maryland.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.