It is the eldest little traveller who constantly reassures me that everything is fine.
“It’s all good here Mum, we’re all fine, everything’s fine”
We’ve talked about this camp, a lot. A camp that requires a passport, requires a lot of discussion. She’s been through customs and immigration hundreds of times, but this time she will be the one to hand over her passport, answer the questions.
“Is there anything you’d like me to pick up for you while I’m in Dubai?”
I’m pretty sure her father will leave her enough cash for a sandwich and a bottle of water, but the intention in her question makes me giggle. That’s what you do when you travel overseas “is there anything you’d like me to get”.
She’s excited about abseiling, climbing, swimming and boating. She’s an adventure girl and this camp is providing a week of perfection in her mind. She’s taking a pashmina of mine to cover her hair while she visits one the oldest mosques in the world.
“You know Mum, at the information night, one of the Mums asked if she ‘happened’ to be in the area, would it be okay for her to drop in and visit at the camp”
We giggled about ‘happening’ to get on a plane, ‘happening’ to drive an hour into the desert and ‘oh I just happened to be in the area’.
“I can sympathize with that Mummy, I wish I could just happen to come and find you” we both smiled “would you be embarrassed though? If your Mum arrived in the middle of the camp?”
She thought about it.
“No, I think the problem would be that when you went to leave, I’d want to go with you”
In a few hours Daddy will drop you at the airport. His biggest problem, will not be parking or finding trolleys, it will be that when he says goodbye, he’ll want to go with you. Your sister, who has begged to be woken, and pleaded for you to let her come to the airport; be assured that when you say goodbye, she really wants to go with you.
I know that you will use Dad’s phone to ring me before you go, I will disguise my voice into that of a calm and cheerful mother, I will not cry. I will remind you that the kids who look super confident are not, they’re just better at hiding their fear. I will remind you of the adventure, the abseiling, the fun, the camp games, the teachers who you love. I will say “the sooner you go to camp, the sooner you’ll be home, and the sooner you’ll be in Australia with me”.
My biggest problem? I will want to go with you.