It began to pour. There was even some hail.
Deane’s mood was playing out in the weather.
Deane had been in a good mood the whole drive to camp, enjoying the last piece of a doughnut as we pulled into the parking lot. He grew more concerned as we went through the five stations of checking in. He stopped answering questions about what activities he would like to do.
When we finally got to his cabin, one of the counsellors had unpacked all his stuff and made his bed. It was reassuring to see his blanket and his stuffed Franklin all set up for him. It looked like home.
Dad was working hard trying to keep Deane’s mood up and also demonstrate to the counsellors how to humour Deane out of a bad mood. We gave them lots of tips.
Once he was established in his cabin, we went to join a group of kids in the arts and crafts hut. Not Deane’s favourite activity by a long shot but there we connected with his friend Matthew. It was Matthew’s mother who had convinced me this camp would work for Deane.
Matthew, who is veteran of the camp, was very happy to see Deane. Deane reached out to Matthew, but still looked wary of the whole situation. Of course, it didn’t help when we realized it was time for us to go. As Dad leaned over and gave him a kiss, the screaming began. We could still hear him as we sat in the parking lot and wrote letters for the counsellors to give him during his stay.
We’ve had this feeling before. As he has gone into any of his surgeries, there is this painful moment when the nurses take him down the hall without us. His reaction is the same. As awful as it was to listen to him scream, I didn’t have the sick to my stomach feeling that accompanies surgery.
At the end of our three-hour drive home through on again off again thunderstorms, we called the camp. We didn’t have to identify ourselves when we said we were checking in on our son who had been very upset. They said he had calmed down and had a good dinner.
All in all it was an exhausting day. I do feel confident that he will have a good time. The counsellors were friendly and fun. They seemed to hear what we were saying about how to bring Deane out.
It is unusually quiet on this cold and blustery morning. The videos that are the constant soundtrack of my life are not playing. My challenge now is to channel my anxious energy into positive thoughts for Deane.