The Knot In My Stomach

March 16, 2013

packed bagsThis was the sight that greeted me Wednesday morning just before I took my boy to school (an hour early) to drop him off for his first overnight, three day field trip. A four hour bus ride away form home. Sure, he’s stayed with my mom a few times over the years. But that was Omi, my mom, a person I know I can trust with my reasons for living – the three parts of my heart walking outside my body.

Now this. This was something different. This was something new. This was something that made me swallow a big lump just thinking about it.

So, after I dropped him off, with a quick hug and a quiet “Have fun, I love you.” Because you know, 12 year old boys don’t like any PDA from their mom in front of their buddies.  I walked back to my car without glancing back. Keeping it together but feeling the knot – that slightly nauseous, slightly sick feeling – in my stomach grow. Of all the things to inherit from your mother – I got her nervous tummy!!!

Middle meanwhile was chattering away next to me excited for our bagel breakfast before school. A treat for her for having to get up extra early too.

After I dropped her off and got back home I got on Facebook and wrote this:

screen shot FB


The comments I got weren’t exactly helpful but pretty much what was expected. How many of us moms go through this on a daily basis? How many of us feel this knot in our tummies when one of ours is not in the nest? I imagine there are few who feel differently.

My mom’s comment and also a conversation I had with my best friend made me think back to all the field trips, sleep-away summer camps and 2 six week trips I had to take to a health resort for treatment of my excema.

Back then we didn’t have cell phones, heck where I grew up we didn’t even have land lines. I think, the local police station and maybe the post office had a working phone and in an emergency someone had to run over there and have them call an ambulance. This was way back when the wall between East and West Germany was still firmly in place and the cold war at its height. And I was on the Communist, Russia controlled East German side.

How did my mom do it? She send me off for 6 weeks of treatment to the Baltic Sea on doctors orders when I was 5, maybe 6. Six weeks, people. With only sporadic contact through letters and postcards… I vaguely remember that trip, it was beautiful and I fell in love with the ocean (salt water is great for excema sufferers) – I don’t remember crying or being upset but having fun. I was on “vacation” after all. I even remember a package I received from my Kindergarten class and how special I felt.

Or the trip I went on when I was 15 – to London. Which entailed a 24 hour bus ride, a trip on a car ferry and a few more hours on the bus to a foreign country which language I barely spoke and understood?

But man, six weeks at age 5. My son was gone for 3 days at age 12 and he had a cellphone on him. I got a quick “Good Night” and a quick “Good Morning” each day and that made me feel 100% better. I knew, he was OK and had a great time being with his buddies, exploring and learning new things.

But the knot in my stomach remained. Maybe not quite as big as it was the first day but it was still there. Until, I saw the bus carrying my first born and his classmates, pulling into the school parking lot last night – 20 minutes late. Which I knew from a text he sent me.Otherwise, those 20 minutes probably would have felt more like 20 hours and the scenarios playing in my mind would have been pure torture. Both my girls were with me and they ran over, they couldn’t wait for their brother to come home. I walked, normally, when all I wanted to do was run faster than the wind, push the other moms out of the way and bound on the bus to pull my boy into my arms. So, the three of us stood there, a safe distance away from the doors and waited with the other moms in a huge circle. My boy was one of the first ones out and his little sister all of 4 years old couldn’t contain her excitement and ran into his arms for a big hug. You should have heard the “Awwws!” coming from the other moms. So cute.

I helped him get his luggage, let him say goodbye to his buddies and off we went to find my car. Once we had some room I finally grabbed him for a quick hug. I needed it and maybe he did too. He didn’t pull away from me after all. All I kept thinking was “I got my boy back!” and all three parts of my heart together again.

a boy and his smart phoneI couldn’t help but take a picture of him in the car on our way to McDonald’s because he was famished and in immediate need of some nourishment. I was so happy to feel the knot in my stomach dissolve that I would have done anything to make him happy at that point.

Last night, I found him passed out in his gaming chair and it was the sweetest sight I’ve seen in a while. I fell asleep with a smile on my face.


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  • Corey March 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Very nice post Hun!

    • Susi March 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks, babe. 🙂

  • Kerstin @ Auer Life March 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Awww. What a beautiful, heartfelt post. (Sniff)
    It’s always just my husband and me with the kids and I yearn for a break. Yet I miss them immediately if they even only go to a sleepover…

    • Susi March 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      It’s a tough one, you want the break but you don’t want to let them go either. I so get it! 🙂

  • AnnMarie March 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    It’s the very reason I hate sleepovers so much. And 6 weeks at 5 or 6 years old would have done me in. I never knew that about salt water (I have terrible eczema). I swear I don’t know what we did before cell phones. It drives me crazy when my oldest doesn’t answer my texts but I love being able to check up on him.

    • Susi March 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      AnnMarie, sleepovers usally don’t bother me too much because the kids are close and usually only gone for a night. I bet with the cold, dry air and the heat in the houses up North your excema is on overdrive. Winter was always my worst time. Yes, next time you’re in Boca you should definitely hit the beach and get in the water!!! 🙂

  • Kristi {at} Live & Love Out Loud March 17, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Awww, that’s tough! I can’t even imagine. The thought of my son graduating from high school soon just brings me to tears. Whatever will I do without seeing him everyday? Hoping this 3-day trip will pass quickly and that he’ll have many wonderful stories to share. 🙂

    • Susi March 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Kristi, he had a blast but came home exhausted – not the best sleeping arrangements. I don’t want to think about him leaving the nest someday just yet. 🙂

  • Kerry March 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Hey Susi! Oh I completely understand this post and that knotted feeling in the pit of your stomach. I have had to send my daughter off on a four day camp 5 hours drive from home when she was 11 and it was tough. We keep it all on the inside though because it is so exciting for them. But the world isn’t right again until our little loves are safe and home in our arms again.
    Such a beautiful post and I am so glad your boy is back where he belongs 🙂

    • Susi March 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Kerry. I’m glad he’s home safe and sound, too. 🙂

  • Beth Ann Chiles March 17, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Sweet!!! I am glad he came home safe and sound. I think every mom knows that feeling and I will tell you that even though my boys are almost 28 and 25 I still miss them every day. Your relationship changes but they will always be our little boys and there are days when i long for those days. There are no bonds like those shared by a mother and child. Hugs!

    • Susi March 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks, Beth Ann.My mom said the same thing, no matter how old your children get, the feeling never goes away!

  • Rorybore March 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I can only imagine….my mom, being a single mother. would send me off to grandparents farm, or one of my 6 aunts homes for periods of time during the summer, march break, etc. I don’t know how she did it. I mean, she knew I was basically safe and definitely with those who loved me – since it was family: but still, it must have been so hard too. And then I spent an entire school year living with my best friends’ family in our city; while she was away at school/training for a new job in another city 2 hours away. In the days before cell phones, etc. I only saw her on the holidays and the odd weekend she had off. I mainly remember having lots of fun with my BFF — the slumber party that never ends!! But I am sure I missed her, and I will probably never know how hard it was for her to be away from her “baby” and still concentrate on her studies and some very intense basic training.
    How do the parents who send their kids off to boarding school do it? I can’t imagine. I miss them on a field trip to the library!
    beautiful post my friend. <3

    • Susi March 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      I used to spent a lot of time either at my grandma’s or at my uncle’s and aunt’s house… but we were only about 20 minutes away by car and my mom would stop by for coffee after work and stuff. I can’t imagine how your mom made it through that year, it must have been so tough for her, probably tougher than for you. Amazing what our moms do for us!!! 🙂

    • Susi March 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Leslie, thank you. I used to spent a lot of time either at my grandma’s or at my uncle’s and aunt’s house… but we were only about 20 minutes away by car and my mom would stop by for coffee after work and stuff. I can’t imagine how your mom made it through that year, it must have been so tough for her, probably tougher than for you. Amazing what our moms do for us!!! 🙂

  • TBM March 18, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I’m not a parent, but I can imagine it’s an uneasy feeling. I’m glad it all worked out and you got a hug when he returned.

    • Susi March 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Thanks. I was happy to have him home but also glad he had a good time.

    • Susi March 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Thanks. I was happy to have him home but also glad he had a good time. Have a great week.

  • Darcie March 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t know if that knot in our stomach ever goes away. I have been thinking about sending my oldest to over night camp this summer. I get sick just thinking about it.

    • Susi March 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Darcie, I’m so not there, yet. I don’t think, I’d be able to sleep at all while he was gone.:)

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