Sleep Away Camp Gets Dad Thinking

On Sunday, we heaved the tie-dye colored trunk into the back of the minivan and headed off to drop Bubba at the camp bus. It’s his third year to do two weeks at sleepaway camp, and it’s one of the highlights of his year, so the farewell is pretty painless. For him.

It was last Thursday when it finally dawned on me that Bubba was leaving for two weeks, and it hit my with an “oof” right in the gut. Two weeks without my big boy. I guess I didn’t appreciate just how much I like having that guy around. And this realization had me zooming off into the future. He turns ten in July, only three years away from being a teenager. 36 months until he’s thirteen.

I don’t think that Bubba is the kind of kid that is going to be a rough teenager, but I’ve seen enough teenagers to know that you can’t possibly predict which ones will turn on the parents and which ones won’t. Regardless, I do know a time is coming when he will want more distance from me, and that’s cool. I just want to get the most I can out of what comes between now and then.

Which got me thinking about work/life balance. I’m really stoked about our trip to Sweden tomorrow (stand by for many a post on this subject), but it is taking me away from home for five days (we get back hours before the most important day of the year). I also have to play caboose on the annual family pilgrimage to the Cape. I’ll be coming up a week later than the rest of the fam. I realize that anyone leaving the education world has to go through this (adieu, summer vacation), but the direction is not a good one.

How do other dads manage the issue of travel? Would it ever influence a career decision?

I do know there is one bit of travel I am putting on the books regardless: when he gets back from camp, I’m taking Bubba on a road trip, gas prices be damned. He doesn’t know it yet, but he really wants to see some small Hill Country towns with his old man.

Categories: Fatherhood, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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