It feels like ages since I last wrote about my visit to Sheldon Spa… probably because it was in fact ages ago. The past couple of weeks have been a big blur of things to do, places to be, lots of excitement and emotional moments.
The last couple of weeks have been a bloggers dream but in reality, I’m just one person doing what I can.
Lately it feels like I have to constantly make a choice between committing to my craft and committing to my children and being a good mama. And let’s be real… There really is no competition.
So I made the decision that once the dust has settled, which is around now… I can really look back on the past few weeks, reflect on them and write about them. The things that I don’t want to forget.
Honestly, I feel like I could burst with all of the things that I want to tell you about.
Today though, I’m a mess! A mixture of nerves and fear. Do you remember when I told you about ‘The Sleepover’ and how I was struggling with making the decision to let Noah attend or not…and eventually I agreed…Well today was the day that I sent him off to have a lot of fun, overnight in a field, without me.
I didn’t sleep that well last night. I already missed him I think. The thought of waking up in my comfortable bed, warm and cosy while he wakes up on the ground and maybe a little cold was upsetting me.
You know how sometimes, when people are tired but struggle to fall asleep and they count sheep? I was counting excuses that I could make up so that I could stop him from going.
I was subconsciously listing all of my reasons that I wanted him to stay with me, where he belongs.
I was thinking about his little bundle of camping things, already prepared and ready to go by the front door.
I was thinking of his bright, blue Beavers sweatshirt with the badges of belonging and achievement on…and how it makes his beautiful eyes smile. It suits him.
I was thinking about what I would say to him in the morning. I searched for the words, I searched for the best goodbye. I wanted it to be just right. Nothing too much, too soppy… because I didn’t want to truly let on how much I was crumbling. And nothing too quick, too forgettable. I couldn’t find the words in the darkness. I decided to wing it just like everything else to do with the sleepover. Maybe I was lost for words because this ‘Bye’ wasn’t actually ‘Good’… not for me anyway.
I did this to myself all night. I drifted in and out of sleep (in that place between asleep and awake) and these thoughts circled around my mind on a loop, terrorising me. It was just horrible. I felt sick.
I got angry at myself. I was confident in my decision. I am confident in the little boy that I am raising. Why was I being so useless? Why was this so hard? Why the fear?
And then it was morning and I woke up to those beautiful eyes and the little boy who kisses me on the forehead. To the boy with the most charming (but goofy) grin.
And just then, my role changed.
I could not let Noah see the darkness under my eyes from my thought hangover. He would not see how much I dreaded this day that is oh so special to him. He would not see how much this snippet of freedom terrified me. He would not know how much I was still trying to find the words for the goodbye.
The time came to bundle in the car and as we whizzed past fields and the quiet, my eyes started to burn. I could feel the tears. My sister, the designated driver and calm keeper kept me busy, chatting away (Yes big sister, I know what you were doing and thank you!) so that I wouldn’t let them go, let them fall.
It wasn’t far! In no time we had jumped out of the car and Noah, with his teddy under his arm and a sleeping mat under the other was rushing towards the camping field where plenty of other Beavers had gathered.
Noah wanted to leave me before I had even signed him in. I pretended not to notice. I had to say my goodbye… THE goodbye!
But at some point between signing him in and organising his belongings, he had run to his friends…leaving his favourite teddy from home, the one that he slept with every night…in the dust!
And when I looked up and he had gone, my heart felt weird.
I walked to the edge of the field in what felt like slow motion and then I saw his face in the crowd, smiling and happy.
He belonged there with them, his friends, the other children who loves the same things that he does.
I didn’t watch for long. I knew if I didn’t make myself leave right then, I wouldn’t go.
I could have watched him all day. He looked different to me. Somewhat bigger, older. He looked free but involved. He just ‘fit’ and it was quite lovely.
I felt really proud of him, my little boy who never stops surprising me when it comes to who he is and who he is growing to be.
I called him over to say goodbye, my moment had arrived.
He reached me, hugged me, kissed me and smiled. Eager to get back he bounced from foot to foot and the best I could do was say…
‘Bye Son. I love you!’
And I watched this little person who I love so much, turn and run back to something that was making him very happy.
And as I left, I felt much better.