Last weekend, Frog was invited to a sleepover at her friends house. It was the first time that this has happened. She and Curly Dad wrapped up a present for the friend, who I shall call P, and I packed up all the things she would need into a little bag, along with a list of the things and all our contact details just in case. Naturally, Frog was hugely excited, bouncing around each day last week chirping ‘X days until I stay at P’s house!’
I was not so sure about it all. In fact, I was quite terrified. It would be the first time she had stayed away from family. What if she was lonely or frightened? What if she was ill? How had she grown up so fast? I comforted myself with the thought that P lives only a five minute walk away from our house, and told Frog (probably about fifteen or so times) that she could call at ANY time if she wanted to, for any reason.
So I dropped her off at P’s house, and came back home. We ate our evening meal, relaxed, and I put Bird to bed. It was a strange feeling, doing all these normal, everyday things without Frog being there. Bird wasn’t quite sure what to do without her sister around, which was quite heart-breaking as she kept asking when she was coming back, but also heart-warming to see how much she loves her sister and wanted her to come home and play again.
I eventually went to bed with my phone nearby just in case Frog called, but she didn’t. I went to pick her up after lunch the next day, and in the five minute journey back, Frog laughed, smiled, stropped and cried, and then went back to smiling again – definitely a tired little girl! She fell asleep on the sofa shortly after we got home. She seemed to have had a good time, tiredness aside, but was also glad to be back home. I was definitely glad to have her back home with us!
It’s funny, before I became a parent, I imagined myself as a chilled-out mum, never too worried, never too stressed. How wrong I was! I think when we become parents, we also become worriers, nomatter how chilled we were before. Children are too precious not to worry about!
So, have your children ever stayed away from home? How did you feel the first time they did?