Yesterday Clay and Tre and I drove the seven hours down to the boys' camp to attend their concert and collect Raphael. Then we turned around and drove back home. We left at 5 AM - IN THE MORNING (redundant, I know, but worth emphasizing), and returned home at midnight on the dot. So what I'm wondering today is this: Why, exactly, does a day full of sitting leave me feeling like I've been beaten mercilessly? Is this oldness? Because it stinks. All day long I've been standing up slowly, clutching at my lower back and wincing. It's mad attractive. Next weekend - back to get Max! And then...extensive rehab, I'm thinking. From sitting.
When we got to camp, Max barely had a moment to greet me. He allowed one quick hug, then took off with Tre. Then I couldn't find Raphael anywhere. It left me distinctly annoyed at both of them. THE DEAL IS that we pay for camp, and in return you children are THRILLED TO SEE US. It is NOT so much to ask. When I did finally find Raphael (down by the river, the nerve of him, enjoying the outdoors while at camp), he hugged me and was happy, but not overcome with emotion at finally seeing his one and only mommy. Clay, on the other hand, got a running leap of a monkey hug, not that I am holding that against the both of them at all.
Tre found all his friends and visited and then enjoyed his brothers' concert, all with good humor and astonishing grace. He said it was hard to be there and not be able to stay, but it was good to see everybody. He showed more maturity than I apparently have, as evidenced by the previous paragraph.
When we got home, it was so brutally late that Raphael just dropped all his stuff in the living room and stumbled to bed. I got up a few hours later to let the dog out, and as I made my way through the living room, I sniffed and thought, what on EARTH is that smell? That smell is small boy camping stank, and it is...unique. I washed his clothes this morning. My washing machine has "soil level" settings that run from "light" up to "heavy." I think there should be one more notch, for "returning from camp" and when I push that button, I think the washing machine should pat me sympathetically. I am throwing away his socks.
Sophia, who has been punishing Tre for the other brothers' absence all week, responded to Raphael's reappearance with pure love and sunshine for him. However, I'm a little afraid that she is going to eat my liver if I don't produce Max. Soon.
So today was spent in something of a sleep deprived haze, washing foul laundry and retrieving Sophia from the rafters. I am deeply content to have one more child home, and have been smelling his head all day (something that was made far, far, far more pleasant by his long, hot shower this morning). A part of me still prowls and waits for Max to return, but for now, I'll take what's I've got.