The simple fact was that I missed the holy heck out of them. There, I admit it.
Primo had a ball in DC at the 4-H conference. I did have occasional contact with him via text, but he was the one I was least worried about, except for lack of sleep.
Let it be publicly known that I had to force him to apply for a spot on this trip. Of course, he was glad he went, and of course, it was the experience of a lifetime. His words, or rather, his tweets.
Mothers of boys, take note. You have to force them to do things you know they will enjoy. By no means can you leave it up to them. It is a thankless task, but you can have the pleasure of patting yourself on the back and saying a little silent "I knew it" to yourself. Goodness knows your son won't freely offer up the credit to which you are due.
The other two were out of contact completely at 4-H camp, where I knew they were in good hands. We heard on Thursday that Terzo was a little homesick, but there was nothing I could do except wait and worry. Terzo was being quietly watched over by a counselor, a former member of their 4-H club who has been quietly watching over him almost since he was born, and I knew she would get word to us if things were truly out of hand.
I was right to be a little bit worried, though. I found this note in his duffle bag after we picked him up. He couldn't mail it to me because he couldn't find the envelopes I know I sent with him.
Despite difficulties, he had a great week. He was known and loved by all, typical for my third-born. He was named one of the four honor campers. (Amazingly enough, Secondo was one of the other four, based upon, of all things, his organization of a broom closet; his own closet had reduced me to tears earlier this week.) He can't wait to go back next year, which is why he crossed out that postscript. He is better off for the experience, but it still breaks my heart more than a little bit to know he was so unhappy.
It finally feels like home now that we are all back together under one roof. I have no idea how I am going to handle Primo going away to college in 13 months. I know he is ready, and truthfully I am ready, for him to spread his wings a little, but I also know that it will fundamentally alter the dynamics around here. I am not ready for that. I will have to make sure and savor the next 13 months, even if it does involve a heck of a lot of smelly laundry and dirty dishes and wonderful sweet noise.