Aaron left for a 3 day/2 night school camp this morning. They've gone to the Ewan Maddock Dam, about an hour from Brisbane. Although he transitioned to this class in time for last year's camp, he wasn't ready and didn't go. This year, while I wouldn't say that he has been excited about it, he has been planning for it. We got the packing list a few weeks ago and he was keen to get everything we needed. He started packing his bags last Friday night and was constantly reviewing the checklist. Occasionally, he'd give me a little hint of what worried him but they were all issues that were easily resolved. Things like "What if they don't have rice?" and "What if I can't dry my hair properly?"
There was no drama or last minute panic this morning. In fact, it was very much like any other school day at home in the morning. We got there at the usual time and after dropping off their bags in front of the bus, the kids went to their classrooms as normal. The teachers tried to tell us that its better if we left so that the children didn't have last minute change of hearts and also so that the children whose parents weren't around, wouldn't feel sad about it. BUT, there were quite a few parents hanging around so, we stayed too.
Aaron gave us a few enthusiastic waves good bye as the bus pulled away but other than that, he never even looked at us.
The teachers all had very anxious looks on their faces as they got the children ready. I would too if I had to be responsible for a group of 6-9 year olds over two nights! They were all assigned places on the bus so there was no squabbling over who sat where. I think its going to be the same with the rooms too.
Aaron's class was on the second bus. You can see them in the photo below, watching, as the first bus pulled away. Richard took the photo while I was under the trees in the background of the photo. Some of their little faces looked very serious. I think they suddenly realized that they really were going to go away and there was no turning back now.
Meanwhile, the group of mothers I was standing with were full of mixed feelings. All their 'little babies' going off to be without them for three days. I remember thinking that one day I'll be waving him off at an airport and he'll be gone for much longer than 2 nights.
I don't exactly miss Aaron or worry about him because I trust the teachers. I do wonder if he feels as insecure as I did when I went on my first school camp when I was 11 years old. Maybe going when you're younger means that you have less expectations of yourself and others and don't know how to feel insecure yet. Hopefully, he'll remember enough of what happened so I can get a good idea of what he got up to.