Second Phone Call: Talk to Me

Damn the communication disorder. We agreed on early morning phone calls because we wanted the call to be as far away from bedtime as possible to avoid homesickness, which is more likely to strike at the end of the day. But now he comes to the telephone sleepy and hungry, ready for breakfast instead of conversation. Sweet and groggy, he gives maddeningly short answers.

What’s your favorite thing? “Evening swim.”

How’s the food? “Good!”

Are you having fun? “Yeah.”

What do you think of camp? “Awesome!”

I know these are good and encouraging answers, but I want details. Reassurances. Stories. Questions about how things are at home. I remind myself that I, too, am monosyllabic at 8am. More importantly, this isn’t any different from the conversations we have over the phone when he is here. I know that he is looking at his counselor as he speaks, waiting for prompts, and that the short answers mean that he is not getting prompts because they know I will hear it if they model answers for him. I also know that if he really wanted something, he would tell me. All of that is good, but at the halfway point of a 7 week separation I can’t help but want more. I am being unreasonable.

So the voice, with a trace of sleep in it and a smile behind it that I can detect, will have to suffice. And I blog about because as I write it down it gets more encouraging in the retelling.

What are doing today? “Having breakfast.”

What’s for breakfast? “I have no idea.”

What do you want for breakfast? “Pancakes.”

What do you think of camp? “I’ve been here a lot of weeks!”

Is that okay? “Yeah!”

We are coming to see you on family day! “Good!”

We will all give lots of hugs. “Yeah.” <heavy sigh>

We love you and are so proud of you. “I love you, too!”

We can’t really ask for more than that.

But a letter would be nice…

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