My daughter has been away since Saturday and wont be returning until Sunday. She has gone camping near Wisbech with my mum, my gran, my mum's friend, my gran's friend and my niece. My mum is a seasoned camper and will go in all weather. Me? I prefer my comfort and I count caravanning as 'slumming it'.
Being a single parent with no help from the absent parent, I'm so used to having my children around all the time (I wouldn't have it any other way), so when they go away, I really notice it; the house is quiet, it stays clean and tidy, food is left in the cupboard for days....ok, these are the good points. It's heartbreaking not having those daily kisses and cuddles, especially at night time, when I should be tucking her up into bed. Instead I find myself stood at her bedroom door looking at her empty bed. I miss her laugh, her jokes, the faces she pulls when she's talking.
I keep telling myself that she's in safe hands, my mum has raised 3 children without cause for concern, but this is my baby, a completely different kettle of fish altogether. I also keep telling myself she'll be fine, she's having lots of fun with her grannies and her cousin, she's feeding the chickens and piglets and playing with the other children on the campsite, so stop worrying. But, there's always that niggling voice in the back of my mind saying 'What if something bad happens?'
I'm sure I'm not the only parent to have these terrible thoughts. We know our children are in very safe hands so why do we torment ourselves? Why can't we just enjoy our child-free time?