I’m feeling a bit fragile today, after sending Bell off on her first school camp. The “camp” is really just a one night sleepover at the school, complete with a day full of pool/waterslide/jumping castle activities, and a night of pizza, disco and not much sleeping, but it just feels like a big milestone. We’ve been having a countdown since the note came home last week, and she was beside herself last night as all the packing was done (how much stuff do 8-year-olds need for 24 hours?!!).
She also asked me not to volunteer as one of the sleepover parents, as she’s just started at this new school this year, and I feel that she’s wanting to show her independence a bit more. I’m obviously happy that she’s confident enough to not want me around all the time, but also just a tiny bit sad that she’s not my “baby” any more. So, it’s time for me to be a big girl, and just get on with it…..but I was secretly relieved when, as we were walking towards the classroom, all loaded with sleeping bag, pillow and about 25 changes of clothes, she slipped her little hand into mine and gave it a squeeze.
Once I was dismissed, along with the other parents who all wanted to stay for just one more minute, I headed to my favourite coffee shop on the beach. An hour there with a good latte, a fresh mag and the amazing view of the islands, and I was ready to get back into the home/work gig. John and I are even going to catch a movie this afternoon, seeing there’s no school pickup, but I’ll be wondering what they’re all up to, and how much fun they’re having.
It’s wonderful when you realize that you’ve done something right, seeing your kids head off on their own adventures, in a confident way. But, sometimes I do miss having the little person who relied on me for even the most simple things. I think I’d better prepare myself, there’s many more challenges she’ll tackle without me holding her hand, and I think I’m quite proud that she’ll be able to handle most of them pretty well.