On Thursday afternoon just before pick up, a shiny white coach with black tinted windows pulled up to the school gates. A gaggle of excited Mums and Dads gathered on the pavement, waiting to welcome home their munchkins from their first residential trip. One of the teachers (looking a lot less coiffed, and a tad more frazzled than when she set off 2 days previously!) bounded off the bus and the unloading of the bags began.
As Miss H quickly de-briefed us, the kids readied themselves to disembark in single file. Watching tired, dazed children scan the mini welcoming party awaiting them as they tried to locate their Mum or Dad, I suddenly began to feel nervous. I didn’t know why. Looking at overjoyed parents envelope their babies in giant, snuggly hugs, I felt tears welling. Desperately trying to not allow a tear trickle down my cheek, I wondered why it was taking so long for DS1 and DD to disembark, whilst at the same time being glad I had more time to get my emotions under control – I didn’t want to look sad greeting my two!
My thoughts were interrupted by DD’s caring friend, L, ‘A and F will take ages to get off the bus because they are sitting at the back!’
Grateful for a few more extra minutes to compose myself, I reflected on the giant steps my babies had taken; steps towards independence, resilience, self awareness and maturity. All this in a fun, nurturing, encouraging environment with friends, and all without even realising it!
For DH and I, the trip definitely made for an eerily quiet house, the absence of bickering and a smoother morning school run. Part of me was excited for them; experiences like this remind me of the endless possibilities life has to offer. Another part of me felt a hint of sadness; they are growing up and Mummy and Daddy will not always feature in these new experiences, and before we know it, they will be leaving home….
Jumping off the bus DS1 hugged and kissed me. ‘Mummy, the funniest thing that happened on the trip was that someone did a poo in the shower!’
If ever there were a comment to bring me back to the present! I think we can safely pack away thoughts of them leaving home!!