Last week was a big one for Rhys.
He went on his first overnight trip with school. They didn’t go far, just to a place out on the Gower, so we all knew that if it came to it we could go and pick our children up if they really got upset about being away.
But it was still a huge step.
A whole night away from home, with people outside of the family.
He wanted to go as soon as he first heard about it which honestly surprised me a bit. Most of the time in the run up to it he’d said he was really excited and looking forward to it when we talked about it.
The nerves came at the start of last week when he realised the trip was only days away. And we did have a few tears. But he seemed to feel much better once Steve explained to him that what he was feeling was nervous excitement.
On the day of the trip he was just brilliant.
He was clearly still feeling nervous but he gave me a big hug and went into his classroom with his friends with no fuss at all. I decided not to wait around and wave him off as they all got on the bus, thinking that having that clean break would be better for both of us.
What was really lovely is that our school uses Class Dojo, so we were all kept updated throughout the trip with photos of the children and the things they were doing.
They had an absolutely amazing time. Building dens and learning firelighting skills. Walking to the beach and creating sand art. Sleeping in big dorms with all their friends.
It felt very strange at home without him for the night, and really odd taking Nerys to school on her own the next morning. But before I knew it the message came through that they were back at school and we could go and pick them up.
I am so proud of Rhys for going and for getting stuck into the whole experience.
He had a brilliant time and really enjoyed all the different activities. I know he was scared about going, and about being away from us for the night and I’m so impressed with him for being brave and going for it anyway.
They say don’t they, that our children often teach us as much about life as we teach them. And I think one lesson I keep coming back to through my own children is this one of being brave. That being brave isn’t about not being scared.
It’s about feeling scared but doing the thing anyway.