My son who is 9 has been on a school residential this week. Its the first one he has been on, he is in year 4, the school do take the infant kids in year 2 (thats 6/7 yrs) away also but our kids haven't gone on those for a variety of reasons really and not because we are clingy parents which is maybe what people assume. I don't have the luxury of being clingy with 5 of them! ;)
Anyway it was two nights away at a residential centre about 40 minutes from here.
He was really really excited. Really ready to go and try a bit of independence and live for a few days in the same set of underwear!! What boy doesn't need to experience that!?
Now here is an admission I hadn't actually expected to miss him. Thats sounds terrible doesn't it...but there was a part of me that was thinking 'ooh one less child for 2 days...hooray!!"....just would ease the workload up a bit. I wasn't worried about him, i knew he would be fine, i don't fret about his safety or if he will clean his teeth..its two days after all, whats a little furry teeth amongst friends? So i thought the immediate impact on me would be 'one less...child, lunchbag, bedtime, teatime, argument, homework..blah blah blah.
Friends of mine who had kids going on this trip had commented 'oh its going to be so quiet?' when they are away...
5 down to 4 means noise levels kinda the same. :-/
But then i was surprised by how much i missed him. Not so much 'him' (this sounds a bit weird) but his presence. He is part of the jigsaw that makes up our family picture and without him i just kept finding myself looking round for something that was missing before i realised that it was him.
that and the 188.8.131.52.5. headcount i do ALL the time..getting to 4 and having a heart stopping "OMG!" moment before realising!!
His sister commented a couple of times 'its not the same without him"..ill have to remind her of that the next time she is moaning at me that he is being mean to her or vice versa!
maybe it surprised him too.