I may be restricted to home at the moment but Kiwi Daughter has suffered no such constraints.
This summer she went abroad several times this summer, the first time with a school friend and her family to Portugal.
The school friend lives outside of the Hague in Oegstgeest, just outside of Leiden.
Kiwi Daughter needed to be taken to their house in time to join the friend’s family who would then take her to the airport with them, and of course she would also spend the rest of the holiday time, and trip back with them too.
With Little Mr spending the day out with friends of his own, Himself and I made sure that Kiwi Daughter’ packing list had been checked, double and triple checked, then got her and her stuff into the car and set out for our rendezvous and transfer of cars before she then headed separately for the airport. Our eldest may be growing up fast, but this would be her first holiday without us (not counting school trips and weekend stays with cousins).
This was also the first time that she would be spending a week with parents she did not know particularly well, she and her friend get on famously of course, but there were lots of unknowns and uncertainties and a few little worries at the eleventh hour.
Himself and I spent the car trip out reassuring her that we would never have agreed to her going if there were any doubts about the family, the house or the location, that the parents assured us that they would take care of her as they did their own daughter and that we were just a phone call away day or night should she feel homesick or feel the need to have a heart to heart with Mama and Papa.
(She did need the phone calls in the end, there were moments when she was hit with unexpected homesickness that none of us had anticipated and then there was “that” incident).
It’s one thing for a kid to spread their wings as they prepare to learn to fly, it’s quite another them stand on the edge of the precipice and look down as they prepare to jump.
In the end the trip was not without incident: a moment of inattention saw her loose her bag to an opportunist thief, but she was unharmed, a massive, if rude Life lesson was learned and she came back with both high and low point “first” experiences. First flights are not without a rocky landing or two it seems.
Still, many good times were also had and in the aftermath of the trip Himself and I tried to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative.
Telling her off was unnecessary: she lost her own worked for babysitting cash, the phone she worked and saved for, nothing we could have admonished her for could have been worse than the beating up she already gave herself. On the way to drop her off at her friend’s house I took a few photographs of the journey, these views another small snippet of the landscape and character of The Netherlands.