I mentioned recently that Kai got to go on a two night trip to the Marin Headlands with her class. She was nervous about going. I love how she handles her nerves. She's a planner and an organizer. She made sure I put the packing list on the bulletin board and added her own additions to the list (stuffed animal, cards, books, and an extra blanket). About a week before, she started reminding me every day that she needed to pack. I was in D.C. the week leading up to her trip, and got home the Saturday before (she left on a Monday). She was quite concerned that there was NO WAY we were going to be able to get her ready to go in one day. But, somehow we managed.
We did end up having to go to REI to get her a daypack. Her school backpack is pretty flimsy and wouldn't have really been a good thing to bring on long hikes. So, we headed to REI to find a hydration pack. Kai specifically wanted a hydration pack. It took a bit of negotiating to get her to agree to the one that was the right size but wrong color -- but, we got there. And, by the time we left the store, she had come around telling me, "it is more important to be able to take all my stuff.. the color is not the most important thing." I nodded in agreement (muttering to myself that I had been saying that for the last hour).
She left on a Monday morning -- it really is remarkable how different it is having two kids at home versus one. So quiet -- even when the one is Alden (who can be quite loud). We went to pizza with Will and Cathy on Tuesday night as a special outing for Alden. And, Alden relished the time alone with us. He definitely doesn't get that much. But, I missed Kailey and felt down the whole time she was gone. It was so strange not having her in the house.
When Kai got home on Wednesday, she was SO excited. She told us all about eating a whole apple core, learning a secret handshake for the apple core club, kissing a banana slug, going on a blindfold hike, seeing a whale and a deer, the bonfire and camp songs, and so much more! On Friday, when she got home from school, she told us a story about her day by starting off saying, "today at school... because we weren't really used to being back at school yet after our long trip.." I restrained myself from laughing. By Friday, she had been back for as long as she had been gone -- but, I know how a big trip (especially one without her family) can feel so significant. It clearly impacted her in a profound way.
I'm so glad she's at a school where she gets these experiences to study outside the classroom, build her independence, and see the world. It was a great experience for her and now she cannot wait for her week away next year (when they head to Yosemite).