So Flea’s school has a school trip next month, for two days.
It’s for the whole school year and will include an overnight visit to an outward bound type centre. There will be some outdoorsy-type games and activities, cooking over a fire and a camp.
There will be lots of fun – the sort of climbing, crawling, building activities I know that Flea loves, from her time in Beaver Scouts.
But she doesn’t want to go.
So when the letter came home from school last term, I didn’t fill it in, and forgot about it.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit relieved.
Maybe I’m a neurotic parent, but I have issues trusting people I don’t know with the safety of my child when there’s risk involved. I’ve read far too many stories about school trips gone wrong. I’ve already told Flea that school skiing trips are not in her future in any way, shape or form. If she’s breaking a limb with anyone, it’ll be with me.
The school called yesterday to tell me that every single child in Flea’s year is going… except Flea. And if Flea is going to attend, I have to pay the £85 fee by the end of the day today.
So, what do I do?
I talked to Flea about it last night as we walked home from cubs, and she told me that she would be happy to go, but she doesn’t want to stay overnight.
“I think the overnight bit isn’t optional,” I told her.
“Oh. Well, I won’t go then,” she replied, happily.
Delving a bit deeper, it seems Flea is worried that if she sleeps overnight the bus the next morning will leave without her. “I heard that you share a room and the person in your room gets on the bus without you and doesn’t tell anyone you’re still in bed,” she told me, with worried eyes. Seems I’m not the only one with trust issues.
I told Flea she’d be the only child in her year in school and she said she’s fine with that. I told her the teachers would do a headcount, like we do at cubs, and nobody would get left behind.
But she’s adamant that, all things considered, she’d rather not go.
I could fudge the issue. I could pay for the trip and gamble that Flea will change her mind in the next couple of weeks. I can see that she’ll probably enjoy it when she gets there, but it feels a little like over-riding her feelings.
Or I could let her not go on the trip. After all, she goes to Beaver and cub camps and has sleepovers with friends, so it’s not like she’s missing out on much, in the grand scheme of things.
I’m torn. What would you do?