I was feeling pretty smug that early morning as the sun rose and the large, white coaches arrived at the school gates. My son was off to his second-ever school camp. We’d packed together the night before with the list of requirements given to us by the school close by.
Jo Abi with her son, Philip. Image supplied.
He’s 12 so I like to involve him in as many of the organisational parts of his life as possible.
We remembered everything:
Roll on deodorant (because sprays are not allowed);
A short-sleeved t-shirt because who knows what the weather will do
Money for snacks.
As I watched the coaches pull away from the curb I caught my son’s eye and we waved to each other. I didn’t feel teary at all, unlike the year before when he left for his first- ever school camp and I cried in the car.
Even though I managed to avoid the waterworks this time, here are the emotional stages of sending your child to school camp that all parents will experience.
Planning to be super organised but then leaving it until the night before.
I have three children, a job and a life so being super-organised just isn’t something I manage often. I’d been adding to a pile of things he might need for camp in his room. I tried not to think about how much I’d miss him.
Even though I thought we’d nailed it, 45 minutes after the coach pulled away, I received a text from Philip’s teacher, and knew in an instant what I had forgotten to pack.
A vomit bag.
Making them help get themselves ready.
Philip and I went over everything the night before, but we couldn’t find his awesome all-weather jacked he’d JUST been given for his birthday. This sucked, but I was proud of how calm we were, and didn’t let this get in the way of his excitement.
Realising you need to go shopping.
I did need to dash out and buy his favourite roll on deodorant because they don’t allow any aerosols. His favourite at the moment is Lynx Gold and I felt like Mother of the Year for not only remembering what his favourite was, but for remembering to buy it in the first place so he wouldn’t stink out the camp.
Better to be over-prepared right? Image via NBC (Parks and Recreation).
The frantic morning.
We woke up a fraction earlier than planned but had time for breakfast. He didn’t eat a bite. He was too excited/nervous. I was trying to be strong. I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry.