I was at a parents' meeting at school last night. First Born, who is currently 9, is due to go away to camp at the end of September for 3 nights. The meeting was to let us anxious parents (none of whom were thinking "Free for 3 nights! Wahoo!", no sirreee, not at all) know what was involved at camp, what the arrangements were and how much kit we would have to buy for our little bundles (answer: shedloads. And I have to sew a name label into every. damn. thing).
I have been worried at a low level, well maybe not worried, just slightly concerned, about how FB will manage away for 4 days. He is looking forward to it but of course I am focussing on the potential pitfalls. FB has dyspraxia and this tends to mean that as well as having difficulty with balance and movement, he finds it difficult to focus and concentrate and remember instructions. I mean, even more difficult than the average nine year old boy. It is not unusual, for example, to send FB upstairs to brush his teeth and get dressed for school and to go up 15 minutes later to find him wearing boxer shorts and 1 sock, staring into space, completely engrossed in whatever is going on in his head. He does not mean to be disobedient, he just.....well, something occurred to him and he went with it.
So aside from the performance that is going to ensue when they try to get him into a kayak, there is every chance he will just "forget" to change his underwear. Or wash. For a week. I am thinking of starting a sweepstake and taking bets on how many of his belongings which leave Edinburgh actually make it back with him.
I am, however, taking heart from the fact that when the head teacher asked if we could impress on our children the need to hang towels up otherwise they would not dry, EVERY parent in the room guffawed in a "Like THAT'S going to happen!" sort of way. Maybe FB is more like a normal 9 year old than I thought.