I packed his bag. Very organised, as compact as I could make it, clothes in one section, books and toys in the other and a couple of treats and snacks, just in case he got hungry at night! I guess a little more than ‘a couple’ as I found it a bit difficult to zip up that section! In walks my husband and asks me to take everything out. “Everything?” I protest, but I did. When the bag was finally re-packed sans the extra t-shirt, trousers, underpants, jeans that he might need just in case he got wet or dirty, the bag closed just fine. That was Sunday.
Monday night, I got to know from a class mum that they might have to do a little walk uphill before they reach the camp, so a bag with wheels would be more comfortable. Out came all the clothes, the books, the treats only to be re-packed in two separate bags – a small stroller and a haversack. Now that we had a bit of extra space, in went the blanket, the gloves and the cap just in case he felt cold at night, in went his teddy just in case he needed to hug someone!
Tuesday morning – all set for departure. Lunch packed plus some fruits in case they take too long to reach the camp site. Big hugs, broad smiles and loads of kisses as we finally say a bye to each other.
Thursday afternoon – back from camp. Big hug but not much of a smile. He is barely out of his school bus and starts “Mummy I think you might not like it but the banana you gave me has got squashed and made my books dirty.” “You mean the banana that was supposed to be your snack on the first day?” “Yes. And mummy we did not get the ‘tidiest room’ prize because of the candies you gave me.” I look puzzled. “We cleaned up the whole room but did not get the prize since I forgot the candies that you gave me under the pillow…..so actually it’s your fault!” “What?” “Yes and mummy my team did not win at the football match because Mr. T, the other class teacher who was also the referee was not fair to us.” Phew! “Did you enjoy yourself at camp, son?” “Yes, I did.” “Did you want to stay on for longer?” “Yes I didn’t mind!” “Did you miss Mummy?” Almost home, no answer.
At home I opened the haversack. “Oh no!”
Opened the suitcase. All snacks and treats found a way back home! Guess no hunger pangs at night.
Someone gets very busy playing with his toys. Literally have to push him to the bathroom and give him an extra scrub to get all the dirt out! A healthy snack follows and then straight into his piano lessons. Very quiet, barely talks to his teacher.
At dinnertime I was going to surprise him with his favourite meatballs. “I really want chicken nuggets today Mummy!” Hmmf.
Post dinner I thought it was worth another try. “So did you miss me at bedtime love?” “Hmmm, yes. The bed was too hard and I just couldn’t sleep.” OK……
Finally it was time to sleep and the four of us snuggled up inside the covers, all together, one family, big hugs, lots of kisses. “I missed you Mummy,” he said without any prompt given, “And Daddy and my brother too. I was homesick the first night.” My poor baby. I lay down next to him holding his hand, watching his eyes close, till I was suddenly told in an apologetic tone, “Unnn Mummy could you please go out now, I am getting a bit squashed!”
Kids, they grow up fast….way too fast!