‘It was great Mum, really great. But I’m glad to be home, I missed you.’
It’s been a strange week for the GG family. Son No1 has been on a school camp since Monday just coming home today. His absence from home was very noticeable.
Mr GG and I were apprehensive about Son No1’s trip. It was the first time he had been away from home apart from the odd stay with his grandparents. How would he cope? Would he wash at all? (I don’t think we were the only parents with that worry!) Would he manage the challenges he was going to face?
There was a little wobble from Son No1 when he arrived at school on Monday morning but our last glimpse of him was smiling, grinning and waving as the coach drove away! Apart from a group text from school saying the group had arrived safely, communication was limited to a few tweets about each day’s events (poor signal not poor communication from school).
Son No2 and Son No3 reacted in their own ways to their big brother being absent. Son No2 chose Son No1’s favourite school dinner on Tuesday just because he knew that’s what his brother would have liked. Son No3 slept in his brother’s bed each night so that the bed wouldn’t get cold! Both boys were a little concerned when they realised that they couldn’t even speak to their brother until he came home!
And … now he’s back! The noise levels in our home have risen considerably and we’ve heard little snippets of some of the adventures the children got up to: archery, tree-climbing, exploring, raft-building and lots more. What a fabulous experience.
I do not grudge my boy his adventure at all, not for a minute but oh, I missed him, more than words can say! I found it incredibly difficult letting my little boy off on his own, it felt as though I was sending him off out into the world and I’m not ready for that, I want to keep my boys by my side for a lot, lot longer!
Anyway, that’s me getting all maudlin. There are years yet before my boys start leaving home but it made me think. It was suggested at one point that I’m in danger of keeping my children tied to my apron strings. At the time the comment hurt but not any more. I love being a mother, love it more than I ever knew I could, but I know that my role is to teach my boys to live independently. Effectively, as a mum I guess I’m supposed to be working myself out of a job. Letting Son No1 go on his school trip was a little step towards independence and I’m over-flowing with pride at how well he coped which means that I’m not doing too bad a job at untying the aprong strings after all!