Friday, July 26, 2019

What Being Away From My Child For 10 Days Has Taught Me ♥

This month my eldest boy, Tyler, gained his wings on the road to independence and left me for ten days to stay with his grandfather and his partner in Jersey.

I'm not going to lie, when we initially discussed him going I thought it was a great idea. The summer holidays are long here in Ireland - 9 weeks altogether, and I knew he'd have a lot more fun over in Jersey with his grandad and the other kids we know there, always getting to go out and about and enjoying better weather than we have here.

However, as we edged closer to him going I became incredibly emotional. I was almost close to tears in the days leading up to him going and had a few cries for myself, usually once he had gone to bed. It's a big step letting your six year old child go off on holiday without you for the first time.

I cried a lot hugging and saying goodbye to my boy as he went with my Dad through the airport security in London and cried for a long time on the train into central London. I knew I'd see him again, but my goodness those mama emotions! I've been with my sons every day since they were born, 24/7 as I'm a stay at home mother, so waving goodbye to one was incredibly hard for me. Not only did I think about me missing him, I thought about Beau, the child who knows no other children his own age, missing his big brother too and that only made me worse.

Tomorrow I get to see my gorgeous boy again and I can't wait to give him a big cuddle and hear even more about all the lovely adventures he's had without me. But there are some things I've learned from being away from my child for ten days...

1. One child is definitely easier than one
Too easy in fact. The jump from one child to two is an experience, let me tell you, especially when you are their main caregiver. From having a strict routine with two children, going back to one has left me complacent and I've been too relaxed (as if this is a bad thing!). Since Tyler's been gone the mornings have been lazier, the bedtimes have gotten later and getting out of the house with just one child in tow is a whole lot easier. But would I ever be without two? Never.

2. Children really do entertain each other
Poor Beau hasn't seen any other children (bar Tyler's friend for five minutes) in the whole time Tyler has been gone. He's been asking me to play with him and trying to busy himself with toys he wouldn't normally play with because he doesn't have his brother to bounce off. Not only do the boys give each other a playmate, but they're also company for each other, even if it's just sitting next to each other on the couch. They love being with each other and I think Beau has been a little lost without his big brother.

3. Tyler is the social beacon of our family
I always said that this boy was sent to me to bring me out of my shell and make me reconnect with people again and now I know it's definitely true! We haven't seen anyone, other than my best friend for lunch one day, since he's been gone! When he's here he has friends in the house, we organise play dates, we get out and about more. Without him we're very much socially awkward!

4. It does get easier
The first few days of Tyler being gone were hard, but thanks to FaceTime and being able to see him and hear about all the wonderful things he's getting up to, I knew I had made the right decision in letting him go. In fact, the boy hasn't stopped since he got to Jersey and I've very thankful to my Dad and everyone one he has over there who've made sure he's having lots of fun.

5. I would let him go again
I would and in fact, I have to, in October he'll be going to South Africa to visit his grandparents and meet his uncle, aunt and cousins for the first time - and who am I to deny him that right in life? I think having children with someone who isn't from Ireland has made me realise that our sons will probably be away from me from time to time, visiting relatives who don't live here and experiencing things that they probably wouldn't ever have if their father was from Ireland.

I've signed the documents for him to travel out of the country without me and although I'm not looking forward to another tearful goodbye and another ten days without him, I know he'll be having the trip of a lifetime in South Africa and a wonderful time playing with his cousins and staying with his grandparents.

I can't wait to see my biggest boy tomorrow and enjoy two weeks of holidays with him before we all fly home together.

This summer he really became more independent and a whole lot older in my eyes and I'm just glad that he's happy, enjoying life and making fun summer memories to last a lifetime.
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