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I’ll put it on my list

Friday 4th March

Today I realised that my eldest daughter Annie has learned far more from me than I realised.  Whenever we go away on holiday I like to have a list of everything that needs to come with us.  I like lists.  Lists keep me sane.  And now it seems Annie has developed this love of lists too!

Annie is going away with her youth group.  She has been packing her case for the last week.   She has made sure that every item on the kit list has been checked and double checked, ensuring she has got everything she needs!  To say she is excited – that would be an understatement.  I overheard her speaking on the mobile with her two friends last night and I couldn’t help but smile.  She is so sweet, making sure they too have got everything that they need and offering to loan them extras – pillows and sleeping bags! That’s my girl!

She was up at the crack of dawn getting the last few bits together before school.  She was out the door on time – stating ‘the sooner I get there, the sooner I get home’ – the logic may be a little dodgy, but I like her attitude – if only life worked like that!  When she got home from school she repacked her case and sat patiently waiting for Charlie to return home from work.  He was driving her to the venue, as the youth group were going to an outdoor education centre about an hour away.

We had arranged to take Annie’s friends too, that way she would get a lift home with one of them – to save us the return journey. I suggested Lauren go alone for the ride too, mainly to keep Charlie company on the way home, but also because I knew once Alice was in bed I would have an hour to myself!   Charlie said the journey was an eye opener – 3 twelve year old girls giggling and gossiping in the back seat non-stop the entire time!

When he returned home, we ordered Chinese take away – a bit of a treat for Charlie, Lauren and I.  Alice had been long tucked up in bed by the time they got home.  She would not miss it as she is not a fan of Chinese food!!  The house seemed strangely quiet with Annie away.  I couldn’t help but wonder what she would be doing, what would her dormitory be like, would she like the food, what time would she be going to bed….  She is growing up quickly, and this is a small lesson in letting that happen!  I am looking forward to her return on Sunday!!!

The weekend passed quickly, and Annie soon returned to us on Sunday afternoon, extremely tired, but having had a wonderful and fun weekend.  We soon learn some of the funny stories from the weekend, and my proudest moment comes when I discover that someone else had forgotten their toothpaste, and Annie was able to share hers.

Not only had she managed to not forget a single item due to her planning, but she was kind enough to make sure that others did not go without.  The first trick she learned from me, but the second thing she has discovered all by herself.  We know that no child is perfect, and there will be plenty of interesting times ahead when Annie becomes a teenager, but for now we are so pleased to see such a kind and caring attitude developing in her.  I need to remember this moment.

I’ll put it on my list.

A Less Ordinary Family Blog