Saturday, June 09, 2007

He's gone.....(Journal #71)

Our Sam is gone. He is not sleeping in his bed in the room below me. He is not curled up with his bunny blankie from Aunt D, he is not laying with his hands perfectly folded under his head, he is not stomping up the steps to tell me "potty" in the middle of the night. He is gone. Okay, don't freak out. He didn't escape into the night through our security system and all. He is at church camp for the very first time. And...don't worry, he is not alone.

Our denomination has this awesome Grand Camp they offer every year. It is just a "one nighter", but grandparents bring their grandchildren. It is a way for them to get a taste of church camp very early on, and a chance for grandparents to relive theirs.

I should feel Sam is in awesome hands with Grandma, and...he is on Holy Ground. Everyone refers to our church camp as that, even though it is not named that. Brent and I have been counting down to this day, just like we did the first time Zach went. Partly for a selfish reason, because it is an important place to Brent and I. We love that place, and we have directed for years, a high school camp there for a week in July, and will do so again in a few weeks. We started doing that well before kids, and we used to dream of the day our kids would start coming to camp. Our next dream is the day Zach joins us in high school camp (which I really hope takes forever, because I don't want those years to fly by).

Sam going to Grand Camp feels a little different than it did with Zach. Zach has been the typical first born, independent and fearless most times. But Brent and I aren't sure what church camp will hold for Sam. I don't know that I will ever feel comfortable sending him to church camp alone once he gets old enough to go, unless I could go as his assistant or PCA or something.

Sam gains knowledge of this world, just like all of us, by observing and then applying. He copies and mimicks everything, even down to the way something is said. He caught an episode of "Arthur goes to camp" on PBS kids a couple weeks ago. He has seen it a thousand times, but when the countdown was on for him to go to camp, he started preparing mentally for it. This morning as we were heading out the door preparing for our trip, his sweet little voice said,

"Mom, know morneeeeen at tamp?"
"Yes Sam, there will be morning at camp."
"No mom, you know what do in morneeeeeen?
"What Sam?"
"Wait up lite dis....." (wake up like this) as he then places his hand up to his mouth like a bugle and imitates a bugle call.
In my mind I am flashing back to Arthur and thinking great, he is going to think they will do everything. Sam is notorious for scripting and memorizing episodes. While he didn't go into script, this is what came next (for those familiar with that episode).

"Mom, dirls mean" (girls are mean). On the episode the girls and the guys at camp go at it because they think they are scaring each other in their tents, but it ends up being the bullies from the other camp.

"No Sam, girls are not mean. The girls and boys were both teasing each other in Arthur. That is what you are thinking about Sam, isn't it?"

"Yaaaaaaaaaaah." Discussion ends until we are in van.

"Need a tary tory" (scary story).
"What Sam?"

Oh yah, then in the Arthur episode, they talk about the typical scary stories around the fire. I am just imaging what is going through my little boys head.

"Sam, they don't tell scary stories at church camp. That was just on the show Arthur. You sing around the fire at church camp."


Okay, so about now I am thinking, do I tell him a scary story so he has one? Then I think, duh, then he will be scared, he will play it in his head 50 times, then he will be scared at the campfire. So I try to think of a silly story, so I start telling him one. (This happens to be a real story, because it was all could think of on the spot. And...stupid me, this also happens to be the same Sesame Street book that Sam makes me read to him EVERY Monday and Wednesday while we are waiting in the waiting room for speech. He goes and gets the book from the shelf, I read, yada yada yada. ) Dang, he remembers word for word how it goes, I obviously don't, as I am fumbling words together. Look out...hear comes another wail!!!!!!!!! He was gone. Sam was gone, mad, upset. Only for 3 miles in the van.

"Sam, I spy with my little eye..."

That was all it took to bring him back. Now...if Grandma could please bring him back a little sooner too. Pleaaaaaaaaase!!!!!

Sometimes we take for granted those important people in our lives, and when they are gone, we miss them so bad our heart hurts. I know for me personally, that I take for granted all that God has blessed me with, and that sometimes the only time I seek Him, is when I want something back from God. I am soooooooooooo thankful he doesn't treat me that way. May we never forget all that we have been given.
~"For all things give thanks to God" (I Thessalonians. 5:18)


A Bishops Wife said...

The "Christian Church"
(Disciples Of Christ), had advertised in the newspaper, they were hosting a 2 week workshop for HF/Aspie kids. I got all excited to send my Junior, then realized it was for kids 8-13 years old. He is only 5...

Point being, they seem to be doing something, which is more than I can say for the other churches in our area. It was for 2 hours a day for two weeks and only cost 10 dollars, if you can believe that!

Anonymous said...

TJ has the Arthur goes to camp book too! I tell ya, I'm thankful for the times I know what TJ is referring to and I can talk him through it. When he says something that I sense is from a book or conversation or something that I have no idea about, it is like trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language.

Hope things go well with Sam at camp. I know what you mean about sending them off alone.

JodiTucker said...

Hello there in MN!

Just read your last two posts....Your summer down time from blogging as much is my "up" time to read more and catch up on other life stuff besides teaching in the music classroom. I will continue to read with great interest regarding Sam's and other autism blog kids progress and what has helped and what has not. I am so glad these blogs are out there to help me and others have a clue into the minds and hearts of special needs kids! Have a great and SUNNY summer!

kristina said...

Wow, I would not know what to do without my boy! How long will he be gone----kudos to Grandma!

mysamiam said...

Bishops Wife~ thanks for the info. Would love to know which DOC church or region is doing that. Might give me an incentive to initiate something in the midwest. Thanks for stopping by!

March Day~ I completely agree with you about intrinsicly knowing what our children mean, and if we don't understand, look out. I am amazed at the way Sam will think of something that has no reference to anything we are doing, but I have to be quick to think about what it might be. I love how they remember the most interesting and odd things that I wouldn't normally.

Jodi~ I have said it before and say it again. You are a blessing to the teaching and autism community. I pray Sam has a music teacher like you someday.

Kristina~ It was only a 23 hour stint. He was right by grandma's side the whole time and loved it. We are now on vacation with Grandparents also near the Boundary Waters in extreme northern Minnesota. We are so proud of how he has handled some big travel transitions this past week. I hope I don't speak too early before our almost 5 hour trip back home!! Great to hear from you again! Are you going to the beach house again with Charlie this summer?

Unknown said...

We're going to family camp in Cedar Lake. I begged our oldest (10) to go away to camp but he couldn't do it, even if his sister had gone with him.

I would love to think that he could go away to Christian camp just like everyone else.

One day.

Club 166 said...

I love the Boundary Waters. I especially liked visiting the elderly woman who lived by herself on an island in the middle of one of the lakes. I forget exactly which one. She struck me as a tough old individualist. I imagine she's gone now.

Glad to hear that camp went well. I don't think I would have been able to relax the whole time he was gone.

mysamiam said...

Club 166~ Her name was Dorothy Molter. She died in 1986 at 78. She died of natural causes, but stilled lived in the forest until her death. We just went to the museum in Ely that they dedicated to her. Her cabin is there now. On the day of her funeral, the US forest service lifted the snowmobile ban for 4 hours for her funeral service up there. We saw pics of where 500 some snowmobiles rode up, and about 1,000 attended. We drank some of her Root Beer too. It is bottled in St. Paul now. Here is the link to her site: I am jealous you got to meet her. There were pics of Julia Roberts with her when she went canoing in 1984. We had a great time.