So last night Rich and i took Becky to school. She is off on a weekend of abseiling, canoeing, arial roping and orienteering, with the rest of the kids in her school year group! We stood with her best mate (and room mate for the weekend) and her parents (good friends of ours also). We chatted and teased the girls about sharing a room, and we laughed, we laughed a lot.
Their classmates came over with their parents and we all introduced ourselves to one another.
Looking around some kids looked a little aprehensive, others excited and some stood quietly with their parents.
Becky turned to me and said "No offence Mum, but i really love it when i go away from you and Dad for a little while!"
I smiled and told her no offence taken, it meant that Dad and I were doing our job right!
She just hugged me!
So the coaches arrived and Becky and Katie could not get away from us fast enough, quick kisses and they were gone, suitcases in tow!
We did not run after them, or follow them, we stood fast and continued chatting.
As we looked towards where the children were congregated there were hoards of parents and siblings all jostling to get one last look of their child! The families banged on coach windows and waved like mad. Some Mums cried - they acually burst into tears at the thought of their baby leaving them for 2 nights and 2 days! A trip they had knowingly paid for, willingly let their offspring go on and still cried like they were unprepared for this moment.
I get a sense of sheer love and pride when one of my children heads of happily, i know they will have a great time, they will laugh and learn and come home bursting to tell me all they got up to. So i am happy to see them go off and look forward to picking them up. But am i wrong to enjoy this small amount of time away from my beloved child? Am i wrong not to cry at the loss of them for two days? Or am i laying the foundations of root and wings?
I cannot wait to collect her on Monday afternoon, nor can i wait until her photos get developed so i can see the weekend through her eyes. But for now i am happy that she is happy to be where she is.
Good parents give their children Roots and Wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them.
-- Jonas Salk