“You need not be sorry for her. She was one of the kind that likes to
grow up. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than
the other girls.”
― Peter Pan
/Tonight, we waved Miss off on her school ski trip. They were picked up from school in three massive coaches tonight and they’ll drive through the night to hit the slopes at Perisher Smiggins in the Australian Alps bright and early at 7.00am. By the way, if you’re used to skiing overseas, I’ll let you in on a little secret. The so-called “Australian Alps”, should really be called “The Australian Mole Hills”. We don’t have real mountains in Australia.
Naturally, seeing her off was a tad emotional and yanked away at my heart strings, Although she’s now 13 and in high school, as she climbed on board, it was like watching this tiny girl get swallowed up by this massive white coach and disappear. Not that I was about to board the bus to yank her to safety. I’m not that pathetic. I know it’s only for a few days and she’s been away from us for longer trips before. However, it’s moments like these where you not only think about all the fun adventures she’ll have, but the gaps in between certainties also open up just enough to let in the doubt. The what ifs. After all, we live in an uncertain world where anything could change at the tick of the clock. Of course, these uncertainties are always there, but our routines and busyness block them out and we forget we don’t hold the remote control. That things can happen. On the other hand, I’m equally sure she’ll arrive home tired with a beaming smile on Friday. She’ll have been away on what will be yet another trip of a lifetime.
“I think she is growing up, and so begins to dream dreams, and have
hopes and fears and fidgets, without knowing why or being able to
Louisa May Alcott
Another thought crossed my mind as I started working on this post, we’re in the process of waving goodbye to her childhood. Indeed, it’s clear that horse has already bolted. That said, she hasn’t grown up quite as much as the photo would suggest. She must be standing on a mound because there’s no way she’s as tall as me. I’m a good 174 cm tall and she’s nowhere near it. Just as well I took this photo below with her Dad, which brings her nicely back down to size. Geoff is the same height as me so she hasn’t shot up quite as much after all.
Yet, she’s still grown up a lot since I first started blogging back in 2012. She’d only just started school the year before and truly was a little girl back then.
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what
we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before
we can enter another.”-
There are people I’ve been blogging with much of those years and have seen my kids grow up, which is a really special privilege really. After all, it’s an incredible thing to see someone grow up, looking at their photos, taking in their adventures and stories and being a part of their lives even if you’ve never met, which is one of the peculiarities of these close blogging friendships. In some instances, we do know each other better than people in the so-called real world, but we’ve never met. Never gone out for a real coffee. Nothing. It no longer seems strange to me until I try to explain it to someone who doesn’t blog.
Anyway, getting back to the trip, it’s going to be an experience for her. It was optional trip, and so many of her friends aren’t going, which has thrown her somewhat out of her comfort zone and she’ll be mixing with other students she doesn’t know and others where there are some tensions to boot. In effect, she’s stuck in a lift with these people for the week. While as a teacher or parent, we can see this as a good thing and say a stranger is only a friend you haven’t met, as a teenager, is a whole different story. It can be unsettling.
However, Miss really loves skiing and is is a fairly good skier, especially compared to most of these kids who won’t have been skiing before. That should give her a bit of confidence. I’ve also seen her face light up on the slopes. She’s had the ski bug bad before and once she hits the powder, she’ll be right. I just hope she doesn’t sustain an injury, because that could be a disaster for her dancing. She’s performing in Swan Lake with Central Dance Company in four weeks. She’s not allowed to get injured and in hindsight, perhaps I should’ve put a roll of bubble wrap into her suitcase. That would be a great look out on the slopes, but I’m sure I could’ve sold a few bubble wrap suits to some of the other parents. While we say we want our kids to get out there and experience the world, we’re all lying. We really just want them to sit in front of the TV and stay safe.
Meanwhile, we have one less person at home. For her brother, it means more chores but for me there’s one less fuss pot to feed and we could all use a few new stories. I’ve been fighting off some weird sleep virus so haven’t been much fun anyway. The week will fly by and all too soon, she’ll be back.
Well, that is except for the dogs. They don’t know anything about fun-filled ski adventures or the frolics of the sun. All they saw was the suitcase come out, and Miss is gone. Indeed, I could just imagine Lady thinking we’re hopeless parents. Don’t they even realize they’ve lost one? This is her song…
“No one to talk with
All by myself
No one to walk with
But I’m happy on the shelf
I’m savin’ my love for you…”
Meanwhile, I’ve spent a few hours tonight hunting down the photos from 2012 and getting well and truly lost down memory lane. Our son only has two more years of school and who knows how many family holidays we have left. That’s not to be negative and reflective. However, it is important to make the most of it. Find the time and money to get away. I’ve been thinking about a camping trip soon. That said, my husband and son will be going camping with the extended family up at Bathurst in a few weeks time to watch the Bathurst 500 Car Race. My daughter and I are staying home “to look after the dogs”, but she also has a dance production.
Anyway, I’m very late to get to bed and will head on now.
I’d love to hear about your skiing adventures or how you feel about your kids growing up and stretching their wings.
I’m not in for skiing, but my now adult kids have had their trips too. It is not easy to release them, but necessary. We only have them for loaning, they are not property.
We can just do our best to raise them well, then they grow up and demand more and more freedom, find us terrible old-fashion, where after some years they recognize, that we were not that stupid, as they once thought we were 😀
When our eldest was sixteen I said ‘Let’s have two weeks away this summer, after all, G might not want to come with us next year’ to which he replied ‘I don’t want to come with you this year!’
I forget from time to time that you are Down Under so when I saw “ski trip” I was confused for a second. (I also forget what I had for breakfast too so bear with me.) First away trip by daughters is a terrifying experience isn’t it? Sons, too, but not quite the same, as least for us. I’m sure all will go wonderfully and you won’t have need the extra wine at all. 🙂 Great photo recap of the kiddos. I always remark how fast they grow and I’ll do so again – too fast! Our baby boy turns 44 next month.
The school trip with our daughter certainly seems more complicated in terms of friendship groups and having that sense of being comfortable and belonging than our son. Boys do seem much less complicated in this way, even though our son isn’t void of friendship problems. It seems with the boys that you’re either a mate or you’re not. Not that you were a mate five minutes ago but there’s been a change in the wind and so I’m not talking to you anymore., Most of my friends have been men and perhaps that’s part of it. I know where I stand. That said, I do have a good band of female friends both on and off line.
I can understand your difficulty in understanding how your baby turns 44 next month. Time flies but these birthdays are those lines in the sand or benchmarks reminding us just how much water’s flowed under the bridge. I think that’s a good thing too. That we don’t just let all that time go down the drain without trying to make the most of that precious commodity…the ultimate non-renewable resource.
The thing about kids is they grow up too soon before our eyes. Best thing to do is let them and enjoy the journey and enjoying the time apart while it happens. The teen years are tough on teens as well as their mums.
I’m envious – she’ll have the time of her life! I’ve only been on one skiing trip, with the school when I was 14. I was new at the school and hardly knew anyone, and when my mother brought me to the airport I was so scared I begged her to take me straight back home! I’m glad she didn’t because I had an amazing time (even though I was rubbish at skiing) and made some really good friendships that lasted the rest of my school life. I’m still friends with one of them now!