I’ve spent the whole of this week fussing over a suitcase when I’m not even going anywhere fun. In fact, I’m not going anywhere at all. It’s Mini who’s running off into the sunset. My just-10-year-old is off for her first EVER residential school trip and the planning, labeling, instructions and finally the packing… is in itself full to the brim of emotional adrenalin.

On one hand, she is half dying to slip out of the house unaccompanied (no piano practice, homework etc) but, on the other hand, she is half dreading having to fend for herself with no mug-of-a-mum running up and down the stairs kissing her good night and tending to her every whim.

For me, this is all about a change. I’m dying to see the change this trip will bring about. Week on week, it’s hard to see our children grow up as they are right in front of our beady eyes. However, next week’s metamorphosis will be hidden from me until a beyond-exhausted slightly-smelly creature is delivered back to the ranch. And then, once she has caught up on sleep and baths, the change will be uncovered and my girl will be that little bit bigger with a sprinkling of social independence.

Of course I will miss the blonde bombshell - my sensible, conscientious, reasonably bossy child who has more sense (sometimes) than her own mother. But I do fully embrace her temporary departure as she steps into the outside world without her parents. It’s the only way for these kids to work out who they really are.