That first school trip away

He did it!

I did not imagine that he would, my boy loves being home and has yet to even manage a sleepover with chums – he tries and wants to but just gets himself into such a state that I have to go bring him home. His one overnight school trip, 2 years ago, was not a success and almost scarred him for life – he will never forgive the teacher who would not call me to bring him home.

But the other week my boy stayed 4 nights at the nearby adventure holiday centre for schools. It was one of the soggiest, windiest weeks and the washing – I’m still working through it. He had such fun, missed home horribly and there were tears. He’s not afraid to cry and his friends are good friends that do not seem to wind him up or tease him. And between one teacher explaining how he had been much the same way and the other telling him that sometimes in life we have to “bite the bullet”, he made it – no phone calls home, no emergency rescue – he stayed and loved it.

Equipment for washing by hand

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He’s still not keen at staying away but I’m trusting that he’ll grow through that in his own way – he has sufficient of his mother’s pragmatism and a good dose of ambition, so…

And me – I hated it too – whenever the kids are away for more than a night I feel like a limb is missing. This used to bother me, being a very independent, likes-her-own-space kind of person. But now I just figure it’s how I am and accept that I miss my children when they are not here overnight. Even if they have been absolute teenage-mutant-monsters for days before. The worst thing was having no contact, that was tough but I understand the reasonings behind this.

Now – my girl will be a whole different kettle of fish – totally different approach… We shall see


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  • Kate Scott

    Oh well done, how old is he? My two haven’t been away over night yet. They will spend the day with their grandparents but not stop over night even though they only live next door!! I think you have obviously built up his self-confidence well by taking his earlier fears so seriously, and it’s heart-warming to know that he had such understanding friends and teachers :-)

    • Babs Saul

      He’s 10, Kate, and we have tried sleepovers with chums but he hates it. So glad, for him mainly, that he did it. Good luck with your two.

  • Sarah Arrow

    Mine love sleepovers. Jess had rooms at her grandparent’s houses and the younger girls did too. At 5 and 6 the younger ones want their friends to sleep over and I have to explain not everyone is ready at that age for a sleepover.

    • Babs Saul

      Joe does not see the point in them, really. As far as he’s concerned you go to bed to go to sleep and that’s that. None of this chatting and midnight feasting and the like – sleep for him! I’m sure that will change in time

      • Morag Gaherty

        I doubt it, Babs. I think sleepovers are more often a girl thing, and by the time a boy feels up to having one, he’ll probably find his mates have outgrown them.

        You won’t be surprised that my two are perfectly OK with the idea of “staying with a friend” (they wouldn’t want to if I labelled it a sleepover!), because it has just been the norm with them since they have been at Windlesham. As far as I can tell, it usually involves staying up ridiculously late watching a film.

        I did laugh when Bob asked if he could have his birthday party at Warhammer World in Nottingham – he explained he would need me to provide the “financial backing” because a coach would need to be booked. Err, I think not, my lad!