N's Year 5 Residential Trip
Last week N went away from Monday to Friday with her school on their year 5 residential trip. She had an amazing experience but I hated every minute of it!
T went on exactly the same trip when he was in year 5 and I felt the same. Letting my children go is so difficult for me, they're the most precious people in my life and trusting that they'll be safe when I'm not around isn't something that comes easily to me.
However, I never actually let them know how much I hate it when they're away from home - I want them to enjoy their experience without worrying that mum will be missing them terribly.
After dropping N off at school on Monday, I cried for ages. The thought of not seeing her or even speaking to her for a whole week was too much for me to handle. Friday seemed like an age away.
In the nine years since having N there hasn't been a single day that I haven't spoken to her so I found this really difficult. It also didn't help that she is such a chatterbox, we have so many conversations (often about nothing in particular but aren't they just the best kind of conversations to have with children) and the house seemed too quiet without her.
The week dragged along and I felt like I hadn't seen her for a month. On the day she was due to return I received a text from the school to say they'd be back a little earlier than expected - yay!
We put up our welcome home banner which we made when T first went away, this is now a V Family tradition for anyone returning home from any overnight stays.
When I was waiting at the school for the coaches to return there was a mixture of emotions from the parents. Some were already crying, some were jumping up and down in excitement and others looked quite calm and cool. Believe it or not, I was one of the calm ones! I try not to show my emotions to others unless I know them really well, but inside I was going through every emotion possible. I wonder how many of the other parents were doing the same?
Bringing her home felt wonderful and hearing about all the fun things she did on her trip made me feel proud. Proud of N for fending for herself for a week and proud of myself for giving her the opportunity to experience all those things. She zip-lined across a lake, made shelters in the woods, took part in a globe hunt, learnt how to light a fire safely, did high and low rope courses, learnt how to take photographs in the forest etc etc.
Although N was full of excitement about all the things she did and achieved, she was also very tired and a little emotional too - she said that she couldn't believe she'd been away from us for so long. This is why we have a calm half-term planned, I think she needs to rest and recuperate before she goes back to school next week!
So now that we've survived the year 5 residential trip we can look forward to (or dread, depending on who's perspective you're looking from) the next one at the end of year 6.
How do you feel when your children are away from home? I'd love to hear from you.