Lucy will be ten this month. Every time I look at her I notice her growing up in front of me, but at the same time of course she’s still a little girl enjoying childhood.
Recently she went away with school for the week, a whole week, Monday to Friday!
Needless to say as the big day approached Lucy became more and more excited. We shopped for all the gear, packed the thermals and fleeces in preparation for the biggest sleepover yet.
Monday morning arrived and Jim went off to work, said goodbye as light-heartedly as possible and drove to work with a lump in his throat.
I had the usual task of taking the kids to school, Lucy in her jeans and trainers, Jude in uniform and satchel envious of his big sister’s adventure while he had a normal week of school ahead.
We walked up to the classroom where the P6’s all sat, rucksacks ready and suitcases lined up, Lucy spotted her friends waving and off she went. That was it, no big send off, no drama, just “see ya”, and she was happy.
I cried my way up the road and went straight round to see my Mum, one person I knew would understand the heart-wrenching feeling of leaving your first-born in the hands of others for the first time. I had a coffee and a chat and felt a lot better but spent the rest of the week feeling like I’d lost something.
Jim and I have been away and left Lucy and Jude with Grandparents plenty of times but it was quite different the other way round, being left at home with one of them away. The house felt too big, Jude even noticed how strange it was. There was no contact all week so by the time Friday came round we were all really looking forward to the homecoming. It was great to see the coach pulling up to school and the faces of parents and children all happy to be reunited. (Lumps in throats again).
Lucy had an amazing week. She did kayaking. bouldering, climbed a climbing wall, tried loads of things we or she never thought she would try, as well as happily spending four nights away from home. It was a great experience and we were so proud of her. It was also a great bonding exercise, bringing all the classmates together, working as teams and expanding their boundaries. Lucy came back buzzing.
So, when Jude’s turn comes round in a couple of years Lucy will have paved the way, making it easier for me to leave him and showing him how much fun he will have.