My daughter’s P7 school trip is coming up and they are going away for five days to some adventure site with canoeing, zip wires, hiking etc. This will be the first time she’s been away for more than two days and will no doubt be a lump in the throat moment for me as I wave her off on Monday morning.
Come to think of it, it’s already sticking in my throat a bit, but that’s more to do with the all the stuff I’ve had to buy. There was a list of essential items sent home from school which covers all eventualities from an unexpected heat wave to a more realistic hypothermic climatic event.
When you explain to a fashion conscious twelve year old they need a warm fleece and a cagoule in case it gets cold or rains, they look at you like you’ve just told them the end of the world is nigh. “But I can’t wear that, what will all my friends say?” Well, they will either all be wearing the same or sitting there soaked to the skin catching pneumonia wishing they had sensible parents – duh. (Disclaimer – I say sensible in the loosest term)
Fortunately, we bought her funky wellies last winter because she made such a song and dance about having a pair in the first place – and then proceeded never to wear the bloody things.
Our list now includes indoor shoes, outdoor shoes, wellies, shoes to throw away after canoeing, waterproofs, jumpers, sun-cream, rucksack, thermos flask, sandwich box plus old clothes for outdoor activities and good clothes for travelling / peer pressure, toiletries to cover all eventualities but also with the caveat that only one small holdall is allowed ?
Unless someone has invented a Tardis like case then this is not going to work. I suppose we could make her dress up like the Michelin man and wear three days of clothes on top of each other.....A bit like trying to travel on a budget airline for a week long holiday with a cabin bag.
I ended up having to buy the biggest holdall possible from the local Argos and so she will just about be ok, other than the fact she may not be able to carry it.
There is also great gnashing of teeth because they are not allowed to take mobile phones with them. “It's not fair, how will I cope” Hmmm, let me see. You’ll just have to speak to each other face to face, instead of What’s Apping or Face-Timing, you know like we used to do when I was your age. “What you didn’t have texting or nothing? like how old are you ?”
I’m ancient, positively decrepit, a relic of the distant past, the good old days and the way it was all rolled into one. Well, actually I’m not. It just seems like it to her, all things being relative. Einstein’s great theory of relativity which says something along the lines of if you are young, then ergo your parents are massively old, stupid and know nothing of your world.
So, I hope all these twelve year old techno-freaks will survive a few days in the wilderness without their digital television, computers and mobile telecommunications devices.
Me, I’m looking forward to the peace and quiet. Well actually, I’m not. I know there will be a big piece of something missing from the house, even if it is the chaotic annoying bit.
Maybe these school trips are not only for the kid’s independence but also the first step in preparing us parents for the fact that one day they will leave home. See I’m going all melodramatic and forlorn already and she’s not going until Monday.