It never ceases to amaze me how different my two children are.
My son is outgoing, confident and very social. He is confident in his abilities and strengths and is willing to ‘put himself out there’ and ‘have a go’ at anything. He never seems to be nervous of new situations — rather he embraces them as opportunities to learn new things, meet new people and do new things.
My daughter on the other hand is quite the opposite. She is quiet and reserved (until she is very comfortable with you). She approaches new situations tentatively and tends to worry about things. I’m sure this is partly to do with her lack of confidence in her own abilities (she often surprises herself with what she achieves). However, I have also come to realise and accept that part of who she is.
This week my daughter went on school camp. It was a big deal for her. There have been many weeks of worrying, surmising, thinking about ‘what if’. However, the biggest deal for her was being away from home for two nights, and not having me to tuck her in.
While she has had sleepovers at friends’ houses and with grandparents, she recently admitted to me that when it came to going to bed, she always ‘had water in her eyes’ when I wasn’t there to tuck her in.
Before she left, she asked me to write her some notes.
“I want you to write me one for the first night, one for the second night and one each for the mornings,” she said.
When I asked her why she wanted notes, she answered simply: “Because it will sort of be like you are there”.
So the night before she went on camp, I got busy looking for some notepaper and envelopes. Would you believe it, I couldn’t find anything — and me a writer!
Finally, I found some blank cards and some stickers, so I designed my own cards and matching envelopes.
When she saw them, her smile was huge.
“Thanks so so so much,” she said. “You are the best mum ever. That is EXACTLY what I wanted.”
Of course, when it was time to get on the bus and leave me behind, there were floods of tears. But I know she took solace in the fact that a little piece of me was going on camp with her.
Last night and this morning, I imagined her reading my love letters to her… and I smiled.
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