It’s been a week full of excursions in my family. I went to the zoo with Bridie on Monday with the school, Bill went to Imax on Tuesday with the school and Beth went to the city on Wednesday and Thursday with her school.

As a rule Beth doesn’t like to go to sleepovers at the school or school camps. I’ve always figured that she likes her home comforts, don’t we all really, but I know her ipad plays a big part too. I also like to think that she will miss me, whether it’s true or not. When I asked her about school camp this year she said point blank that she wasn’t going. She said she’d already been there as it was the same one that they went to last year. Her teacher had said that it didn’t matter as much this year, it was open to the whole of middle school so she may not know as many people. But the sleepover at the school was important. They were going on excursions on both days, sleeping at the school. If they didn’t sleep over they wouldn’t be picked up ’til 7pm on the Wednesday and dropped back at 6.45am on Thursday as they were long days.

The headaches started on Friday. Imagine a falsetto voice with a hand upon the forehead “ooooh, I’ve got a headache!” Me saying “No you haven’t, you’re going to the excursion. Don’t spoil the whole weekend with your fake sicknesses because it just wont work.” Sympathetic I know but I’ve lived with it for years. She would have been right at home in the days of smelling salts and fainting on couches. Well if they had wi-fi!

Tuesday night she had a bad case of the runs. “Bloody hell” I thought “here we go. Serves me right for making plans for the Wednesday when I don’t have to leave at 2 to pick her up.” Wednesday came and she hadn’t had to go to the loo again but she had woken up sniffing. I had checked it in the night and her breathing was a bit coughy when she was asleep so I knew it was real. She got up and had some breakfast and I asked her how she was feeling. “Not very well” was the croaky answer. “Well” says mean old mum, “If you’re home sick from school you know you can’t play on the ipad.” The surprising answer “Then I’ll go to the excursion”. I was so excited. I hated school and would have jumped at the chance to stay home, ipad or not. I could read, I could watch tely, I could – not go to school! She must have actually wanted to go except for her ipad and that was a huge leap. I took her off to school, explained to the teacher that she had the sniffles and one runny bum so call me if you must and off I went.

It was so strange without Beth that night. Bridie of course jumped into her spot in the bed. We ate food that Beth didn’t like. I missed her but I didn’t miss the driving. When I picked her up on Thursday she came out beaming, she had a wonderful time. They had been to Old Melbourne Gaol and to the Magistrate Courts as they have been studying law this term. The only mar on the day was when her teacher told me she had lost Beth in the city. She said that they were walking along, she had told the group they were turning a corner and when she turned around Beth was gone. She ran back and around the block and there was Beth who has gone up to an older man and told him she was lost. Thank goodness, I’m so proud of her that she did that, she could have just gone running into traffic. Easily. I know there’s the whole stranger danger thing but really, you have to trust somebody sometime in that situation. And it’s such a minute chance that the person you ask on a busy city street will be a bad guy. Anyway, her teacher frantically searched and found Beth talking to the man. Miss H said that the next day she realised what Beth had done. When she said ‘we’re turning here’ Beth turned around and walked in the other direction. This time however Miss H was more alert. Oh my goodness, it could have been so much worse but it wasn’t so I just have to heave a sigh of relief and not think about it really. When we got in the car Beth was very excited to tell me all that she had done, even down to what she had eaten. I think I’m lucky, another friend said her son told her to mind her own business when she asked him how he had gone. Must be a boy thing!

About Sarah

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