The smug smirk on Matthew’s face as he walked through the door told me that I wasn’t going to like what was on the piece of paper that he was waving around in front of me. He knew that I was going to hate it! I laughed nervously and took it from him. He folded his lips in tightly to stop himself from laughing at me, laughing at what I was about to say.
‘He isn’t going!’ I said firmly as I quickly dismissed what I had just read and the paper ended up on top of a little pile of bills and letters. The ‘I’m not dealing with this shit’ pile. The pile that I quickly turned away from. Matt let the laugh go and I shot him the worst look from the bottom of my soul.
‘You can’t say that, he will love it…and you know he will’ Matt pleaded
‘He won’t love it because he isn’t going! He’s too small!’
‘He’ll be the only one who isn’t going…That’s so mean! You’re mean!’
And then I shut that conversation down by sulking on my own in the kitchen, banging pans around…anything to shut out the noise of my guilt, anxieties and fear.
Noah has been attending ‘Beavers’ for only three weeks. He absolutely adores going. It has become such a release in his week and it brings out such a happy side of him. He lights up when he speaks about what he has learned and experienced there. And it took me a little time to grasp and appreciate but he thrives in that time alone, away from us, away from me.
Last night, Matt brought home a letter and permission slip. To attend a sleepover. Over night. Away from me. Away from home. Away from our bedtime stories and snuggles. Away from home comforts. AWAY FROM ME!
Away from my need to kiss him goodnight, talk about the dreams we would like to have, discuss how we will meet up in ‘Dream City’ and go on a hot air balloon and away from his bed where I will check on him before I go to sleep every night.
I don’t want him to go.
Is Matt right? Am I a horrible Mother for not wanting to let go. Am I mean for looking at the suggested list of things that he will need to take and shaking my head because they obviously don’t know my son well enough! They don’t know that he can’t choose just one teddy. They don’t know that a change of clothes will not be sufficient because he is oh so clumsy and very messy. They don’t know that because I am in fact not on that list for him to take, I kind of hate Beavers right now… Surely I will be something he needs, right? I am his person!
Matt just says that it will be perfect for him, he’ll get to be a little boy around the fire with his buddies. He loves camping. Why wouldn’t we let him go?
I have one week to decide.
Noah is desperate to go.
I told him that I won’t be there. He said ‘Oh okay!’
I told him that he will have to pick one teddy! He said ‘Oh okay!’
I told him that he will have to try and be clean because he needs to travel light. He said, ‘Oh okay!’
And he didn’t flinch at all about going to ‘The Sleepover’ without us. Without me.
It isn’t the same for Matthew, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that when the children aren’t with me, I feel like I’ve lost a limb. The thought of them falling and me not being there to wipe their tears and whip out the magic plasters fills me with dread. The idea that someone else who I hardly know will be responsible for the safety and protection of my small child makes me feel quite sick. It is completely alien to me.
What do I do? What would you do?
Do I let my (almost) seven year old go camping with his friends for games, crafts and good, old fashioned, wholesome fun for a night? Or do I say ‘no’ and hope that one day I will have more courage as his Mother to let him go? Grow up?
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