Expat Life

Our First Trip Apart

This morning I said goodbye to my little sweetheart for five full days. For those of you counting, that’s four sleeps without her. Seeing as I’ve only got a limited number of these nights left to snuggle and tuck her into bed anyway, I’m feeling a bit robbed.

I’ve known this day was coming since we first visited her school back in May. I squirmed uncomfortably when the headmaster mentioned a “week-long residential trip” and then went into full on panic mode at “parents are not allowed to chaperone”. In my head I’d already determined we’d be looking elsewhere, but then we came to find out that practically every other international school requires these extended class trips, too. There was no getting around it. She’d be taking her first trip apart from us no matter which school she attended.

I get that they’ll be staying in a Hogwarts-style castle, filling their days with hiking and games and adventure courses, all the while supervised by highly qualified teachers. And perhaps eleven isn’t too young to take a five day trip with your class and not your parents, but I don’t have to like it. I have my reasons for being overprotective, and I have a right to them, regardless of how illogical they are.

So what does a parent with a slight propensity to worry and imagine unlikely disaster scenarios do to distract herself for a week? Well, she takes her own trip, of course.

Our First Trip Apart

You see what I did there? Tomorrow I’m taking a vacation that puts me two hours closer to Lexie. So what? I wanted to go to Bath anyway, and if it puts us that much closer to Lexie, then that’s just a bonus. Overprotective parents – be ye not ashamed! (I’m pretty sure it says that somewhere in the Bible.)

You want to know Lexie’s opinion on all of this? While I spent the last week trying to distract myself from the inevitable by focusing on buying everything she needed for her trip and then packing her all up, she chattered non-stop about rooming with her best friend and being able to stay up way past her bedtime every night. Does this look like the face of a girl who’s going to get homesick?

Our First Trip Apart

Yeah, I didn’t think so either. (Nostalgic moment: She’s using the luggage my grandmother bought for me a hundred years ago when I was Lexie’s age. That thing has been around the block!)

I know Lexie will be fine, and we’ll all have a great time this week, but that knowledge didn’t keep me from wandering into Lexie’s room around midnight last night and crawling into bed with her for an hour. I had to make up for all the nights we’ll miss, right? If I can make it through this week, I’ll have a whole year to prepare myself before we have to do it again. I’m going to need it. (Unless by that time the hormonal teenage years have hit and then we’ll probably gratefully accept a week away from each other!)

Anybody else feel like an appendage is missing when your kids are away?

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  • Guest
    September 23, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    Awwwww. So cute.

  • Quyen Nguyen
    September 21, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Wow, that definitely is a long time to go away from your daughter. She looks like she is going to have a lot of fun though! Teaching her to travel early! :)

  • Liz
    September 19, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Gah! I was wondering why the heck I wasn’t getting your updates on my blog feed {besides the fact that, you know, I never check my blog anymore. Ahem.} I must have had the wrong blog address :( Problem fixed! Anyway.

    Holy Moly! I can’t imagine what you are going through. Being away from my children gives me serious anxiety attacks. I have a weird addiction to them ;) Jeremy and I are headed to Tahoe in a few weeks {business for him, mini vacay for me}, and I am FREAKING out about it. Have been since the day he asked me to go. It’s only for two nights, but I’ve never been away from my girls overnight {besides when I’ve been in the hospital having another bay-bay!} I know it’s going to be good for us. And I’m so looking forward to having time with my gorgeous hubby ALONE. But, that doesn’t quite make the nerves disappear. Looks like Lex is super excited, though. And I ADORE the fact that you are vacationing to be closer to her. LOL! I’d probably set up camp across the street! HA!

  • Connie Weiss
    September 19, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    I HATE being away from my kids and have decided I’m not doing it again for a long time. I completely understand how you feel! In 6th grade my kids will be going to a thing called Outdoor Lab. 5 Days in the Woods! In cabins but still. I already asked how they feel about parents in the woods with binoculars. I was told that I’d be arrested. :)

    HAVE FUN!!!

  • Shaylynn
    September 18, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Oh my gosh I would ditch you so fast for a Hogwarts esc adventure. My childhood just went down so many points. But I saw your pic on Instagram, I’M POSITIVE YOU’LL GET THROUGH THIS.

  • Nicole
    September 18, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    I bet she’s having the time of her life! She will have the best time, and I can’t wait to hear all about how much fun she had!

  • Katrin
    September 18, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    I can totally understand your feelings! But I am sure you both will have a great time! Can’t wait to hear about your vacation!

  • Rebecca
    September 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    She looks so excited! I know how you feel, I don’t know if you ever get over it! I felt that way when Kate moved out to her first apt, thank goodness it only lasted 3mos, then when she moved in with Josh last May, great for her, sad for me! It’s been a year and even though I see her almost every day during the week, I still miss her being here! There’s only 4 weeks till the wedding, it’s coming fast!

    You must be having a blast traveling all around, a friend of mine is in Paris right now, will be back on the 19th, spending a mo there after traveling all over Scotland and England, for a month.

  • Miwa
    September 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    She looks so excited!! And I’m sure she’ll have a blast :) But I totally understand how you feel. I can’t even begin to imagine how I’d feel if I was apart from my daughter for that long. What a great idea about booking your own trip during that time!

  • Emmymom
    September 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    I would totally be worried to at that age, though starting at age 12 I went to week long church girl’s camps. I hope you enjoy your trip, is it just you or is your husband going with too? I am sure she will have a wonderful time and be great

  • Natalie
    September 17, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    I would totally be like you…but Lexie’s a good girl and will have a blast!

  • Janette Johanson
    September 17, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    WHOA!! I do imagine Hogwarts sytle school and her riding around playing some games using sticks and finding underground paths to lead to enchanted places. I’d be a mess and I can relate. I haven’t been apart from my kiddos much and I know it would do us all some good to miss each other. I hope she has a blast and I hope Bath is fun– and take a bath in bath sounds fun. :) hugs!

  • Diana Bockus
    September 17, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    Obviously, I have no idea about the parenting aspect of all this since I don’t have children but what an awesome thing to do in school! Seriously, we didn’t do things like that! haha

    I’m excited to hear about your trip too!

  • Corina Nika
    September 17, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    That is so great! I’ve loved London when i visited. it’s like the best place ever!

    You will have such a great time, and you’ll be back to your little one in no time!

  • Impulsive Addict
    September 17, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    I have such a diva that I have spent nights without her on a couple of occasions. When she was not yet 2, mike took her to Michigan for 10 days while I went to Shawn’s for 5. It was waaaaay too long. I cried myself to sleep from day 2-10. And my mom and dad kept Emma for 5 days this summer and I did ok. I missed her and called all the time but it was better. Then, when we did a girls weekend last week, I dropped both kids off with my parents for 4 days. I bawled my brains out because I was going to be without Drew! But, I did it and was grateful for the kid-free break. But I’m not ready to do that again anytime soon.

    I’m sure this is hard for you. She’ll be happy to see you by the end of the week. Have fun on your vacation! Just try to enjoy it.

    If you had a diva like Emma Kate, you’d understand. But you were blessed with an anti-diva. Lucky you!

  • Jay
    September 17, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    I loved this. I’m sure Lexie will have a great time on her field trip and you will too in Bath!

  • Stacie Stamper
    September 17, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    I know that you will miss her, but I love that she is your mini-me world traveller!

  • Jo
    September 17, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Both our kids had a week long school camp when they were 5 years old … They loved it! But I imagine that you would have died if Lexie had to go camping at that age.

    Then again, I’m used to sending them off for 6 weeks to visit their family in South Africa so 4 nights away from home is not much (for us).

    I hope you at least have a great time Bath and don’t spend too much time worrying about her.

  • Tammy Chrzan
    September 17, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Awwwww look at your gorgeous peanut, she’s totally happy about the trip and mom is stressing. So let me tell you mom… I have 5 kids, and not one time did I ever let them out of my sight until my son was in 8th grade and he wanted to go to Washington DC on a class trip, so I was in full panic mode but let him go and what happens? THE DAY HE’S MEANT TO VISIT THE WHITE HOUSE? Some moron flies his plane into the building. That was… pfft… Like 9 years ago, and everything was fine and he barely even thought of me… waaahhhhhhh!!! Why can’t my kids need me more? haha… I know what you’re feeling and you know what? There is nothing wrong with it! It just means you’re a great mom!

    It’s about time you got out in England, just wait until you see what the “real” England is like, it’s not London… London is just the icing on the cake. You will LOVE Bath, that’s my favorite place in all of England!

  • Joyce Fetter
    September 17, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Aww, I’d feel the same way. I’m very rarely without both kids, though this summer they were both at the shore with my parents and I didn’t know what to do with myself those two nights. I hope she enjoys her trip and that you had a nice time in Bath! It’s beautiful there. Take advantage of the time to yourself and try out the Thermae spa

  • Kerry
    September 16, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Absolutely! Even when I make a joke and claim that all my stars have aligned because two out of three children have a sleep over (at someone else’s house) planned, I still secretly miss them. It is horrible when they aren’t in their own bed at night nor there when you wake in the morning :(

    Although I tried to look for the smallest glimmer of a tear in Lexie’s eyes in that picture, I am sorry to say that I couldn’t see one. I bet she missed you anyway, because a mum as great as you deserves to be missed! I bet she has a ton of fun and she will be home before you know it. All part and parcel of growing up huh, letting them go far far away with other people!! Scary I know…but she’ll be just fine. I hope you enjoy Bath, can’t wait to see pictures!! xoxo

  • stephanie
    September 16, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    I don’t even want to think about it!! I can’t imagine either of my chicklets going anywhere that long without me. I am sure she will have a blast though!!

  • Keith Wynn
    September 16, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    My sister feels this way any time her daughter is away for a day or two even. She is always so super happy whe she returns :)