Monday, 30 September 2013

How to Build a Character

Scout Camp, we're told, is character building. And I can certainly vouch for this as my 11-year old's two nights roughing it have imported numerous new virtues into our vicarage:

Self-sacrifice: I missed my firstborn after depositing her in the Friday darkness with her sleeping bag and hold-all of Hollister tops. Her empty bed pained me in the mornings and I had, forlornly, to sing solo along to Adele songs on Youtube without her at my side.

Humility: as, hastily, I subdued my uncool glee at the reunion upon clocking my daughter's warning scowl.

Patience: as I listened with beaming attentiveness to a half-hour, high-speed account of who fancied whom on campus while, armed with a Post-it note of scrawled directions, I wrestled the A10 into submission.

Courage: as I squared up to the damp, muddy menace that was her dirty laundry bag.

Forbearance: as, all evening, I withstood the howls and recriminations of an adventurer who had achieved one hour's sleep the previous night.

Devotion: as, come the release of bedtime, she begged to me climb under the duvet with her for a half hour cuddle and my sassy tweenager became a little girl who had missed her mummy.

How have your childrens' absences improved you?




10 comments:

  1. Two of mine are currently away at University, middle child calls me daily, the teenage boy, well, once a week. I have learned to be patient with middle child, and I have learned to accept that the teenage boy is growing up and doesn't need his mom as much as she needs him.

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    1. It's something we can be slow to learn, I think, that we need our children as much as - or more than - they need us.

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  2. We got used to Splosh being away at university, we would talk regulalry, FB message and skype, but in August he went to the very north of Norway for 6 weeks. In the middle of nowhere, no contact with the outside world for the whole time! I have never in 22 years not spoken to him for more than a few days, 6 weeks was a killer. But I learnt to patient and learnt that he really is a grown up and the tearful calls from his girlfriend because she missed so much touched my heart. He will always be my baby boy, but he is also really hers now as well!

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    1. You sound a very fine mother. I hope I can build a character like yours!

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  3. I had two nights to myself in April when DD slept over at my sister's. I loved it having the freedom to read late into the night ans sleep in the next morning. On the other hand I missed my cuddle in the morning and couldn't wait to see her again after 2 1/2 days. Not sure if it improved me but it was a good confirmation that I don't want my old single life back.

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    1. I think we need absences from our children to remind us how much they mean to us.

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  4. She's at that tender age where she veers from '100 % cotton girl' to 'Hollister girl'.... just loved 'devotion'.... Little A's absence at pre-school improves me in more ways I could imagine... I pluck my brows and scrub my face with Vim - I also get a little writing done, so I shall label myself as 'role model'. X

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    1. I've only recently learnt that you have to pluck eyebrows. You might have warned me!

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  5. I learn exactly what you have said - that it's me who suffers from separation anxiety, not them and that the constant noise in the house when they are here is to be celebrated and enjoyed, for one day it will be gone :)

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    1. You are wisely right, but it's often difficult to remember to celebrate it when the tumult rages round one!

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