For some reason, my husband thought I'd like to read this poignant Washington Post column by Michael Gerson about sending his kids to summer camp. About the ritual of sending his children away Gerson writes:
"So this is the independence we seek for our children -- to turn our closest relationships into acquaintances. Of course, I knew this getting into parenthood. But the reality remains shocking. For a time, small hands take your own -- children look upward, and you fill their entire universe. They remain, to you, the most important things in the world. To them, over time, you become one important thing among many. And then an occasional visit or phone call. And then a memory, fond or otherwise."
Just like the first time I read that I'm all choked up. I mean, I'm not seeking to make my relationship with my kids an acquaintance, but still. I need the hanky. I bet my brother does, too. I hope he dries his eyes before climbing in to that huge honking SUV of his and driving home to his kids. (Not that he couldn't ride his bike.) We both loved summer camp as children, but now that the shoe is on the proverbial other foot, it's all different.