A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Bon Voyage

Bon VoyageWe're awake a little after midnight and heading down the M40 in no time at all. I'm not convinced of the merits of a couple of hours sleep, but I may have dozed a little, (unlike my daughter) and keep reminding myself that I have work to do once I arrive home.

Sophia bumps into a friend from university at Beaconsfield services which is slightly surreal at 4 am on a Friday morning, but they compare notes and fond farewells before we rejoin the motorway and head towards the M25. We arrive at Terminal 2, Heathrow and Sophia spies several Camp America T-shirt clad teens and twenty-somethings. They're all travelling to different US cities, but stick together anyway and talk of plans for the next three months. I guess this is how the summer will unfurl - they'll get used to talking to new friends with shared interests and support each other throughout. 

I have no idea how you're supposed to feel saying goodbye to your daughter for three months - but there's excitement mingled with apprehension. I hope that Sophia will stay safe, be happy and have a summer filled with adventure. When you head home with your newborn baby - you never imagine that someday she'll grow up and go exploring all by herself. Our children are not ours to keep however, and I have to remind myself that Camp America will be the first of many adventures.

After check-in, Sophia delivers a final hug and heads off to departures with new friends. The group have waited for everyone to get through check-in before leaving en masse, which is sweet. One hug is not enough with my daughter, but I manage to restrain myself, 'Have a great summer,' I say, but she's already gone and just like her first day at school, she doesn't look back.

We return to the car and leave the airport. Stopping for a crazy-early breakfast at a service station and arriving home again in time to start work. Who needs sleep?

Sophia has two flights, the first to Chicago, the second to Portland in Oregon. I check the flight status several times during the day and hope that my daughter is sleeping; by the time she arrives at camp she'll have been up for almost 48 hours. Why is it that she's never mastered the art of sleep before flying anywhere in the world? She's been the same ever since she was a toddler - this has always driven me slightly mad.

At time of writing I still haven't heard from my daughter... I'd been warned that the chances of finding a signal in the middle of the woods in Oregon was almost zero. This doesn't make it any easier. The eight hour time difference doesn't help. I've gone old school and written her a letter that will take between five and seven days to arrive. If all goes to plan she'll head into the nearest town at the weekend and find an Internet cafe - maybe we'll even get to Skype. I guess she's busy having fun and making new friends, which is exactly how it should be.

For now, it's just me, the cat and Mr A for the summer. I plan on borrowing my nephew for a few days as the house seems too quiet and the cat's already cross with me for scooping her up and extracting too many hugs.

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton


  1. Awww, makes me get teary just imagining waving off your 'child' for three months. My three are 21, 19 and 15 and all still at home (not through choice on their part). But son (19) is off to uni in Sept and as soon as eldest daughter gets a job that pays enough to rent in London - she'll be off too. Your daughter will be having the time of her life I imagine - lots of unforgettable experiences and friends to be made. She will return a different person but still your little girl I bet! Good luck. Lisa x @ukglowology

  2. Oh my gosh Izzie, I'm crying reading this. I absolutely KNOW that one day this will be me, I can't bear the thought of it! Thinking of you, it must be soooo hard. I hope she has an amazing experience (and misses you a little bit!). x x

  3. How exciting! We dropped our three youngest kids off at a local camp on Sunday and I noticed a few of the counselors had British and Australian accents. Quite a few students from other countries work their in the summer. I'm sure your daughter will have a wonderful time, but I also know I'd feel so nervous if I my daughter was doing something like that. Hopefully, you'll feel much better once you know she's there safely and happy.

  4. You are so right, we never imagine them growing up and leaving home when we bring them home for the first time. Wishing your daughter safe travels. Hopefully you will be able to sleep and not worry too much.

  5. Aww! I hope Sophia has a wonderful summer....I'm sure she will! It's very exciting for her!
    I hope you get to speak to her soon x

  6. I can't even imagine this point yet... I remember my mum waving me off at Heathrow when I went away for 18 months. She told me her heart had broken a little! I know now what she must have been going through! Hope Sophia has a wonderful time though, and the cat gets used to your hugs :) x

  7. Oh my goodness what a beautiful but terribly sad moment! This post has made me reassess my attitude to the upcoming school summer holidays. I'd been dreading them slightly - 24-7 childcare of a 5 and 3 year old is not easy - but you've reminded me that the days go by so quickly, and soon they'll have flown the nest. I hope you hear from your daughter soon, and that she's having an incredible time (I'm sure she is). I bet she'll come back with all sorts of wonderful tales. x

  8. Ah bless, I am already dreading that time coming with my two. I desperately want them to travel when they're older but can't imagine how quiet the place is going to be without them, or how much I will worry when they're not with me. I hope Sophia has a wonderful summer and that she gets in touch soon to let you know that all is well.xx

  9. i have 1 son who keeps looking back as he goes through passport and security and then messages me right up till he flys and lets me know when he's arrived the other end and 2 sons that say 'bye mum' give me a quick hug, never look back and fail to contact me when they arrive. each time though whichever one it is is hard to say goodbye to

  10. I hope that Sophia has a wonderful summer in Oregon but gosh - it's so hard letting go of one's children isn't it!

  11. Oh my, I'm going to find all this so hard too. And I now realise how hard it must've been for my mum when I went off on many trips to far flung unusual places around the world. But this is what I love about blogging - we get to hear from those with kids a little further down the line about what its like then, and it sharpens our perspective, helps us really savour the present for what it is. So thank you! And I really hope she gets in touch soon. PS I was in Uganda for 10 mths in 1992-3 during which the only communication was by airmail letter and ONE phone call on Christmas day (that cost £11 a min from UK)!!

  12. It's amazing watching these people grow up that we only read about, but now it's been a few years, we've taken them into our hearts and miss them for you. No doubt she will do you credit XX


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