Tomorrow marks the beginning of Jamie's field trip; he'll be gone until Wednesday when I pick him up after school. So today is filled with doing laundry, packing his bag, and preparing and packing all of his food. Originally, I was only going to pack him cold stuff to eat at every meal. However, the weather forecast is for chilly temperatures, and I feel at least one hot thing at every meal is essential to keep him from getting sick. So I bought him oatmeal packets for breakfast (all he'll have to do is ask an adult to get him some hot water and he can mix it himself). But lunches and dinners were a bit more problematic; so I went the more expensive route and bought some microwaveable soups that he can ask an adult to heat up for him in a microwave. As skinny as Jamie is, and as easily as he gets cold, I can't imagine that eating nothing but cold foods for three days would be conducive to him staying in good health. He needs something warm in him to combat the chilly temperatures.
I've been trying to hide my anxiety about this trip from Jamie. He's excited to go, but as we get closer to the deadline, he's become more anxious about it. He's worried that he might accidentally be exposed to something he's allergic to, and he's worried that the adults won't know how to react if he does go into anaphylactic shock. There's something so wrong about a 10 year old being (rightly) so worried about the possibility of death. I also worry, because the camp is an hour and a half away, because they don't get cell phone reception and only have one land line, because the nearest hospital is an hour away, because I won't be there to make sure all the kids wash their hands after meals, that the table gets wiped down, etc. etc. But, I also realize that Jamie can't hide his whole life because of what "might" happen. I realize that pretty much any encounter with food is a risk for him, but he can't go through life scared. If he does, that isn't really living. It's merely existing, and I don't want that for my child.
So, even though he's now voicing doubts about going, I'm encouraging him to go. I've told him he can't go through life scared. He should be cautious about things, but not hide from them all. I've put on a brave face, when inside I feel like I'm sending him off to the executioners. But I can't prevent him from being a normal kid just because I'm scared. Any more than he can hide from life because he's scared. Go live, little guy. Enjoy life, don't just exist.
But I'll be praying the whole time he's gone. And I'll give him the biggest hug he's ever gotten when he comes home on Wednesday.