IMG_2154 Have you ever felt as though your heart was about to burst?

Like, legitimately explode?

I get that way some times watching a show on TV. Like recently I was watching the movie Juno and when she has the baby and was surrounded by her family and everyone has stepped up to be so solid for that baby and then she has to give it away in the end, I just can’t take it. I burst into tears every time.

Or the Pamper’s commercial that just shows like 20 different babies sleeping while “Silent Night” plays and they’re little mouths make tiny sucking movements and one baby gives a sudden jerky twitch and I’m reminded of all those nights I had a baby asleep in my house, sometimes curled up beside me in bed, and I wonder where that time went. Tears.

Last summer, my son went away to camp for a week and because he’s the youngest of the four kids, I wasn’t too worried about him. He’s never been given the impression that the world revolves around him so he’s pretty well-adjusted and highly adaptable. I always joke that you could drop him and kid #3 in the middle of a crowd in China and they’d be like, “Hey, hi, what’s going on?”

I felt a little tug at my heart when it was time to say good-bye and I started second guessing my decision to let a 9-year-old spend a week away at camp. Who would separate his dirty from his clean clothes? Would he remember to brush his teeth? What if he forgets to eat fruits and vegetables?

But he gave me a hug and then ran down the cabin’s porch steps and started to toss a football around with another camper.

So it came as a surprise later that week to find a postcard from him in my mailbox.


And when I read that first line, that he felt so different without me, my heart swelled. I imagined him sitting on his bunk in the cabin, carefully crafting his note home using his best penmanship. And I remembered what it was like to be 9 and live in a microcosm surrounded by parents and siblings, friends and teachers and believe that that is the whole world. And it’s familiar and comfortable and you can never imagine anything different.

When he got home, he said that he was a little homesick but “you get pretty well-known to everyone so that makes it better.”

He’s there again this week and while I got held up during check-in, he went back to the car and dragged his suitcase and sleeping bag to his cabin and began to unpack long before I finally caught up with him.

And as much as I hope he’s having the time of his life and not even thinking about home, there is a part of me that will be looking again for a postcard in my mailbox with the tell-tale script of a boy who misses his mom.





What makes your heart burst? Have you dealt with a child’s homesickness (or your own)? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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10 thoughts on “hello muddah …

  1. Girls … many thanks for all the kind words! But I hope I don’t come off trying to toot my own horn as some great mom because my son will be one of the first to tell you I have some things I need to work on. But I am savoring having a child still in my life, in my house. I’ve really come to appreciate what a gift that is and how lucky I am to be closing out this chapter of my life with a pretty nice kid. Even if he does leave his crap all over the house.

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