This week my son went on a school residential for three days ... and I went all weepy.
I don't know why. My children have stayed away from home on many occasions during their lives - in the early years with grandparents, or with aunts and uncles. They have never had separation anxiety and neither, really, have I. Knowing that you fully trust the people they are with (and having my own self-doubts at being anything like a good mother so expecting that they'll do it better anyway) has enabled me to let them go.
And it isn't even his first school residential trip. I wasn't like this last year!
So, I have a list of things to blame.
1. Too much alcohol the night before.
2. Too little sleep (same evening - possibly probably related!)
3. His goodbye was an over-the-shoulder 'Bye Mum!' - no hug or kiss or hint of sadness.
4. I suddenly realised he's growing up.
He's growing up, and one day he'll leave home. Probably in about 8 years. This is less than the length of time I've already spent with him! Panic about him fleeing the nest has set in and I haven't even reached the horrors of teenage years yet! The house will be so quiet: No elephants jumping down the stairs. No conflicting volume control fights with TV/computer and sister in same room. No 'Can I play on your phone?' arguments. No screams from his sister when he hits her. No trombone practice. And, for me, no school pick-up and longer days and time to myself.
Calming down a little, I can also rationalise that when I've experienced the teens I might be much happier about him leaving home...