Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dear Noah...Thanks For Helping Me Grow

The following story is part 2, click here  to read part 1.

Although exhausted, when Steve and I finally crawled into our beds after spending 12 hours in the car to take Noah to Camp Barnabas, I found myself unable to rest.  The house was not only quiet, it was empty.  Natalie was spending the night with her grandma and Noah was more than 300 miles away.  It felt odd not having them near.  I tossed and turned and attempted to get comfortable while Steve lay motionless.

"What in the heck are we going to do when they grow up and move away?" I shared.  "We'll have nothing to talk about!" I continued.

"Oh, we'll just have to have lots of sex then," retorted Steve.

"You're so funny," I replied.

"Hey, that wasn't meant to be funny," said Steve.

Within minutes I was asleep.  The next day, I kept myself busy with various errands, but by late afternoon, I was dying to know how Noah was doing...without me.  I sent a quick email to their "mommy checks" account and tried to go about my day.  I didn't know how often they check the account so figured it could be Tuesday morning before someone responded.  However, at 9 p.m. I received a call from Amanda, a nurse practitioner working at Camp Barnabas.

"Noah has a terrible middle ear infection," explained Amanda.

She had checked to make sure he wasn't allergic to any medicines and had already started him on penicillin as they had some available at camp.

"He should be feeling better in a couple of days," added Amanda.

I couldn't believe it.  Noah hadn't had an ear infection in more than two years.  Apparently it was Murphy's Law that he get one when he's miles from home, but I didn't have to like it.  I felt helpless and slept poorly that night.

The next morning I contacted Amanda to ask if I should come and get Noah, but she assured me it wasn't necessary because when she went to give him his morning meds, he told her he slept well and had no pain.  A little while later I received a response from the camp director through the mommy checks email system:
Noah is doing great!  He is already feeling better so please don't come get him.  There is another boy at camp that loves Star Wars and they are having a Star Wars party this afternoon.  Noah talked to one of our staff guys about how to make more friends so they are practicing how to do it.  He did all the activities yesterday including sand volleyball, disc golf, and T-shirt making.  He is so sweet and we love having him here.



While I felt relieved he was feeling better, I'd be lying if I said, I wasn't a little disappointed.  I was definitely having a tougher time with this separation than Noah, it seemed.  When the day finally arrived to go get him, I was more than ready.   We pulled into the entrance of the camp just minutes after it opened, but we found the place already full of parents and campers toting their belongings to their cars.  As Steve fumbled with his camera, I snapped at him to hurry up. When we were about 75 yards from Noah's cabin, we spied him waving and calling out to us enthusiastically.  Then, Noah just took off running towards us.  I relished the moment as he collided into my arms.

Looking up at me with teary eyes he choked out "Mahhhmmm."  But, before I could respond, he added, "I want to come back.  Please...can I come back?"

Hmmm...I'm pretty sure you must leave a place before you can technically come back to it, but instead of sharing this bit of knowledge, I simply sighed and replied, "Of course!"

Saying good-bye to his team of counselors was tough.

Noah and I at the closing ceremony.

Noah with his Star Wars buddy, Jack.

He said, "yes" to so many new things.

"Was it scary?" I asked.  "Yes, it was very scary...I only went down it 6 times," replied Noah.

JT, though Noah thinks he's Obi One, played along and took Noah for a ride in the "Millenium Falcon".


  1. What an awesome post! I'm so glad he loved camp barnabas! Love, Amanda

  2. Andrea...This made me teary...I am so happy for you and Noah and Natalie & Steve! What a great experience!

  3. Wow! I am so impressed, proud of Noah and in awe of Mom! Took alot of courage for both of you. This sounds and looks like a wonderful place, so glad Noah is headed back later this year. My funniest moment was the pink spoon at BR. Sam LOVES pink. Go figure, right?

    1. Hi Roxane! Good to hear from you. Pink spoons! Yea, and there was a time when he didn't want me to pack Girl Scout cookies in his lunch box b/c he was afraid the boys would make fun of he thought they were just for girls. I shouldn't have told him the truth...then I could have had all the Thin Mints to myself! ;-)