It’s amazing seeing your children growing up from small bundles of joy, who can’t feed, clean, talk or get around by themselves to more capable and confident individuals. Okay the cleaning part is still work in progress (with lots of prompts!) but they certainly don’t stop talking!
We have recently had to let eldest take one step away from the family nest (yes he is only 8 and it was just a small step really, although it felt HUGE for me!) as he went on his first overnight school trip. He has had sleepovers at his best friend’s house locally but this seemed different somehow, they have been friends since they were 2 and a half and I would consider his mum one of my closest friends, so its more of a home from home rather than feeling he’s off in the wider world.
But an overnight school trip with the rest of his class was uncharted territory, we tried to deal with this as calmly as we could, focusing on the practicalities, organising his items to take away and trying to distract ourselves from the impending trip… I must have wanted to think about other things as I
almost booked a holiday without telling hubbie (oh my was I in the dog house!).
The overnight trip was to include lots of activities, high ropewalk, canoeing, bowling, treasure hunt and swimming (I swear the high rope and canoeing was only thrown in just to keep us parents extra concerned with them being away for the first time!).
We had large list from the school to ensure that they had everything they needed, which included several changes of clothes, sleeping bag and pillow. We also sneaked in a couple of magazines and packets of sweets for good measure for the inevitable midnight feast. He looked quite weighed down when he set off, but so very grown up for his 8 years.
We waved good-bye to him in the morning and we were both very tense for the next 36 hours! That night we both lay in bed thinking if he would be asleep and wondering what kind of day he had with all his friends (it was 12.30am at this point so we thought of course he would be asleep, wouldn’t he?!?).
A text came through just before 3pm to say that the children had returned and were ready for collection, we both scrambled round to the school to pick him up as quickly as possible. Eldest looked bright as a button completely buzzing from the adventure. The teachers on the other hand looked very sleep deprived and ready for a weekend of rest! It transpired that their room of four boys slept only from 2.15am until 4.15am, unbelievable that he was still so bright! But then he was fueled on lots of cans of coke and the thrill of such a memorable trip away.
So all in all it has been an interesting experience but one that ensures we are on the right path to eventually watch these two boys grow into men and eventually fly the nest. One baby step at a time… (I want to hang on to them as long as possible though!).