Hmm, where were we . . . ah, yes . . . Ben and camp . . . and my festering doubts as to whether he truly liked it there and would ever actually consider going back. Well, those doubts were finally put to rest with his singing camp songs on the more-than-three-hour ride home in the car. "B-B-B-Becket, in the Berkshires" he belted out, showing none of his usual shyness and reserve. He seemed different. Happier. More confident. And he kept using the word "awesome."
But in the fast-moving world of family life, that was last week's news. Now he's home and I still haven't seen much of him. It is, after all, that glorious carefree week before school begins, when the neighborhood kids, unencumbered as free agents, roam the suburban landscape in search of the next better meal offering. No baseball practice or music lesson to clip their day. No mom and dad to intervene and reroute. For this one week, it's back to my childhood of the 1960s. And here I am, as usual, missing him.
So maybe it's time to try to find a job. Funny how September brings that thought up. Kids off to school with Ticonderoga pencils, mom off to a pharmacy internship after a three-decade-long career stalemate. I'm at my first interview, and the pharmacy owner seems to trust that I will be an asset, despite my prolonged hiatus, despite my fears, regardless of my need to learn compounding with an older brain (my husband doesn't subscribe to the older-brain philosophy, more to the use-it-or-lose-it theory. We're both of the "Ben needs braces and a Bar Mitzvah" opinion). The interview is looking rather good, I can't help thinking . . . goodbye freedom.
It's a few days later and Ben's at yet another sleepover. Sleepaway, sleepover, what's the difference, he still doesn't brush his teeth, and I still don't see him. I'm thinking if I do begin a full-time job, maybe we'll become more synchronized, more in balance . . . and in that paradox of adolescence, I might actually be sought out.