Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Firstborn cuts the apron strings

It's been an emotional morning. Firstborn has gone off on her first ever overnight camp.

As we gathered in the school hall for the pre-departure pep talk, I looked over at my daughter as she huddled with her friends, drinking in everything the teacher was saying and occasionally glancing over in my direction. I kept a brave face on it, grinning manically at her in an attempt to communicate "Fun! Yeah! This is great! Yay!", but I felt a little more flat inside as each minute passed.

Firstborn is a mere eight years young and today she looked tiny. Outside she was full of bravado but her big owl eyes and slightly pinched mouth indicated otherwise. I probably looked exactly the same.

Last night we picked out Firstborn's clothes (many were dismissed as being way too naff - how did she get fashion sense this young?), raided the store room for torches and a sleeping bag, then I gave myself repetitive strain injury by sewing on name tags while she chatted away about the sort of stuff that looms large in the eight-year-old mind. As I kissed her goodnight, I felt a warm surge of pride for this brave little girl who is trying so so hard to be all grown-up.

I'm not ashamed to admit that as the bus drove away this morning a few tears were shed. I squashed the urge to jump in my car and give chase, clamped my largest and darkest sunglasses firmly onto my face and swallowed hard. I obviously wasn't fooling anyone though, as a few of the kinder mums felt moved to pat my shoulder gently and mutter comforting words.

Then I went home for a major self-indulgent pity-party in the company of The Belly who, at nine months old, doesn't yet have the ability to find me embarrassing (that's the brilliant thing about babies - however rubbish you are, they still think you're just great).

I so need to toughen up. 


Wooly said...

That would have been a lovely experience for Amanda. She would have loved to be with her much loved friends no matter how daunting and scary the experience seem to be :-)

Anonymous said...

She is stepping out. You are experiencing Mother Pain! Better get used to it. It gets worse!

juicyfatkin said...

did you really sew on all the name labels or did you have a little helper to help you?

Anonymous said...

Awwwwwh! Poor babies! F.B. will probably suffer homesickness tonight - and you can emphasise sickness, it's like physically being sick.

Kate S. said...

Hi Wooly, I know, Firstborn was just saying the other day that she wishes Amanda was still here. :-( Love to you all.

Anon - Mother Pain sucks.

Juicy - yes, I did! Hard to believe I know, since I am so utterly slummy, but sewing is one of my secret talents. I am a fab label sewer-oner.

Anon - really looking forward to her coming home. Brilliant school has been sending texts so we know what the kids are up to but really want to give her a hug (in the car though, in secret, as otherwise she acts like I am the most embarrassing person to have ever walked the earth and wrestles me off her) sigh.