The excitement at home is palpable. My son is scurrying about, double-checking, triple-checking and quadruple-checking with me; ensuring that all the items on the checklist given by his school have been packed.
He is going away on a three-day school trip, the longest he has been away from home and from all of us.
We have to drop him early tomorrow, so we try to get him to sleep early. He checks his big backpack, and a smaller backpack, one last time, before he hits the bed.
His excitement is contagious; we are also caught up in it all.
As his mom, I hope he will be fine, and able to manage on his own. Above everything, I want him to have fun.
His elder sister, who has been on many such trips, gives him a few tips. He is after all the youngest, and it is time to let him go!
The next morning flies by in a flurry of last minute checking, and driving to school. Many children and parents are already there. In what seems like a jiffy, the children board the coaches, and with a few waves and yells, they are off.
Picture courtesy – wikiclipart
I head back home. It is like any other school day, when the kids are not around, but the house seems a tad emptier. I go around the house picking up stuff. On my son’s table are some eraser shavings, a half-done sketch of an animal, and a pencil. Suddenly, it hits me that a bundle of energy will not rush into the house at 4 pm, for the next two days. There will be no non-stop chatter about the school day or animals, or the cats in the neighbourhood.
Soon, when I check my phone, I realize there are some photo updates from school. Lovely photos of the kids and their activities; what fun experiences they seem to be having.
I zoom in, and eagerly scan the innocent faces for my son. There he is, smiling, with his friends, looking happy and cheerful.
Soon, the day’s chores catch up with me, and my daughter and I also take some time out together, catching up on some mom-daughter time.
The three days fly away, and my son is back home, enriched by his experiences, and bubbling with stories about the trip.
As I hug my little one, I realize that he has taken an important first step in his life. The first of many such experiences and challenges he will face in this journey called life.
As his parents, my husband and I hope we have equipped him to do just that!