I’d Want To Go With You

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.

Twelve.

“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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06858916902023917487 boomerang jane

    Oh Hon. That’s a tough one. How many awesome days of camp is she going away for?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    For the week. She just rang from the car, she was all giggles because her little sister had walked into a pot plant on the way to the car because her eyes were still closed (3 a.m.). It was a very hard goodbye, I know she’s going to have a ball but I will just be so happy when they’re all back here with me. 2 weeks today!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10437498511254202582 Sarah-Jane

    My 12 year old LOVED his (first) camp earlier this year which also required a passport and I sooooo wanted to go with him. Counting down those 2 weeks with you! S x

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

      I needed to hear that, thank you. I know she’ll love it, just wish I was a little closer – but, only 2 more weeks!

  • http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/ Stacy

    Camp is the place you learn about yourself. That homesickness will come and go and you can still have fun. That you can accomplish much more than you ever thought you could. That adventure means independence and responsibility. And, at the end, it is sooo good to be home again. I am sure they will be well cared for at camp, but if you need a parent on the ground for whatever reason, I am in Dubai and ready to help. Just send me an email.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

      Stacy, thank you! You’re right, this will be an incredible experience for her. I need to remember that. xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13439663139027095903 Mary

    I remember going on my first school camp – and my little brother crying as I got on the bus (he was two). She will have fun. I also remember my Uncle coming to collect me and take me to my grandparents place for dinner during my Year 7 camp. Can’t imagine how I’ll feel when my daughter goes off to camp (eventually) – but I imagine it won’t involve a passport from here in Sydney. Hugs to you, stop making me cry please x

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

      Her little sister really didn’t want her to go. I was skyping with G this afternoon (hours after she’d been dropped at the airport) and I heard the 3rd little traveller say to the 4th, “hey, where’s Lizzie”. Yep, that’s how long it took him to notice someone was missing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03127111575563904349 JO

    Under the tears and the longing to be together – how proud you must be of your little travellers. All that independence, that willingness to get on with the world in spite of everything. They have courage and resourcefulness (and sometimes they have wobbly days, like we all do). What brave little travellers they are!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    I am so proud of her. She has been an absolute star throughout all of this, and to head off on your first camp and not have your Mum, I think, is a big ask.xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00730557217264985056 manycoloured-days

    OOOhhhhh, I’m so sorry you’re not there to see her off and even worse, welcome her back. My oldest went on her first solo trip in June to Germany (and really solo, as it was no school trip but she was going back for the last week of school to her old school) and I was in tears waiting for her to come through immigration on the way back. Soooo sorry.

  • http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/ darlenefoster

    She will have a fabulous time and have so much to tell you when you see her!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04831030766735821505 Michelle

    Are they coming back to Australia for Christmas? And then all flying home together? That is great.
    I had a hard enough time sending my kids on overnight trips to Canberra and the Blue Mountains. Of course, your lovely world traveling girl will be taking this all in her stride.
    Michelle

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

      Yes. Everyone will be home in 2 weeks time and then we can get on with Christmas fun. The tree is waiting patiently as I’ve promised we’ll all put it up together. It kind of feels like everything is on hold until they get here. Cannot wait! xx