Q of the Week : What's the longest you've been away from your kid(s)?

D goes to camp this week.  Wednesday morning to be exact, and I don’t think it really started hitting me until about two days ago.  When I started getting his checklist of gear together, realized I didn’t have some of it, and started actually thinking about what was going to happen in just a few days.  How I’m going to miss him, despite the freedom of only having one kid at home.  How his banter will be missed, and, yes, even some of the blither.  His brother is going to be lost without him too.  They’ve become such incredibly good friends since I started homeschooling that they’re inseparable, unless D wants to get lost in a book, or build some very fragile creation of course.  

Three and a half weeks is a long time.  He’s been away from home for over a week before, several times I think, but always with people he knows.  He doesn’t know a soul at this camp, other than the director he met for an hour, but I’m not really worried about that.  It will take a day or two for him to settle into the swing of things, and yes he’ll miss home, but I think he’ll be fine.  He’s gotten so much better at making friends in the last year, and this place will be stuffed with kids who like a lot of the same things that he does.  It’s rather a long time though for a 9-year-old. 

A friend said to me today that maybe sleep-away camp was mainly an East Coast thing, is that what you all find to be the norm?  I’m curious … I grew up in the Midwest, and don’t remember any friends ever doing any kind of away-camp, but maybe that was just Illinois?  Any of you sending your kids away?  This is a first for us, seems to have been dropped in our laps, and I think is the perfect time for him to have an experience where he’s totally out of our hands and influence.  He’s ready, but I know he’ll come home changed.  I’m both terrified and exhilarated by that prospect, and hope I’m a slightly more zen mama when he returns.  I can hope anyway! 

So what’s the longest you’ve ever been apart from your kid(s), and what for if you’re willing to share?  Love to hear your stories.