Beth’s gone off to school camp today. It’s her first with her high school so I’ve got mixed feelings about it. She has too.

We had a school production on Thursday night for Bill and Bridie’s school. As Beth’s old friends still have siblings at the school they were watching the production too. It was strange not having Beth in the production. We’ve been lucky, Beth’s a born performer and loved being in school productions. Lots of kids on the spectrum don’t like performing and are often working backstage or not being involved at all. Beth has always been on the stage, our primary school is very inclusive and always made sure that Beth had the opportunity if she wanted it. This is the first time in eight years that the whole school production didn’t have Beth in it. I thought she’d be bored shitless but she quite enjoyed it. She certainly loved seeing her old friends. It showed me how she still considers these girls to be her true friends. If we talk about having kids for a playdate it’s Jessica and Erin that she talks about, not her friends from this year.

This is why I thought it was important for Beth to go to camp this year. I know she wanted to stay at home with me. I know she wont like having no computer or ipad for two nights. I know she’ll have to socialise more, not just with kids in her class but with ones perhaps unfamiliar to her. And that’s just what she needs. It’s good for her to step out of her comfort zone once in a while.

For me it’s a funny feeling. I love the fact that I wont have to drive an hour and a quarter round trip twice a day. I love that I don’t have to leave to pick the kids up until 3pm instead of 2pm. I also love the ease of just having two kids at home. It doesn’t matter which one isn’t home, it’s always easier with one less. The other side of me will miss Beth dreadfully. As I said goodbye to her this morning on the bus we said that we loved each other, she said she didn’t want to lose me. I don’t think she was necessarily thinking that she would, maybe she thinks if she says things like that I’ll change my mind and let her be at home. I of course reassured her, telling her that as I would be picking her up at 12 on Wednesday that we’d get MacDonalds for lunch on the way home. In many ways Beth is my easiest child, she’s easily pleased and can entertain herself all day if she’s got her dvds and ipad or computer. She eats well and she does what she’s told. And she needs me which is lovely. Most kids grow up and become fairly independant, Beth still needs her mummy lots and hard as it is I also love that about her.

To make the trip more exciting we went clothes shopping yesterday, Beth got some girly tops and new boots which she wore today. She had her new magazine for the bus ride which she started reading as soon as she got on the bus and put her seatbelt on. I asked if she was looking forward to the camp and she said a little bit. There’s a dinner out, a visit to Sovereign Hill, night hikes and bike riding. I told her teacher that Beth can’t ride, she said they’d teach her how to. It’s specifically a special needs camp which is great, there’s 16 kids and three staff members, two of them being women, one being Beth’s teacher. I couldn’t ask for a better crew, she had friends going with her, she’d shaved under her arms in preparation this morning, she’s got her new clothes, what more can you want. And the weather is amazing, perfect for a few days of bonding. It’s hard but it’s also necessary. My baby’s growing up!

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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2 Responses to Camp

  1. Elaine says:

    We did camp this year at day 3 of starting a new school. It was just for the night. My daughter showed her true colours but they were able to work through it and I didn’t get a call to collect. She really enjoyed it at the end and made some new friends so it was a good icebreaker. I am sure Beth will be fine and she’s lucky to have such wonderful weather for Sovereign Hill.

  2. Sarah says:

    yes I guess it is good for the teachers to see them in all their glory too! She was so lucky with the weather, it was just perfect. The next lot went from that afternoon til Friday so not quite so nice! x

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