In any normal set of circumstances, as the parent of a ten year-old boy, I’d pay good money for a little peace and quiet.
You get used to the noise, but occasionally it can get a little too much, and you really notice it when it isn’t there.
However with my son currently on his first school residential trip, the house has become instantly eerie.
And I don’t like it.
Passing on my anxieties
I told Max I’d miss him while he was away.
It’s a tough call and balance of making a child feel loved and always wanted, but not burdening them with worrying about leaving us to our own devices.
And it could be years before you realise any mistake or consequence of something you thought little of at the time, or were only intending to be a loving and reassuring action.
Max also seemed genuine in his claim that he would miss us too, but I’m hopeful that he’ll have such a great time on his outdoor activities that he’ll forget all about that.
My lovely wife, and I, have already allocated the two ‘free’ work nights that this trip gives us.
As much as we love having Max at home, there are things we just don’t contemplate doing midweek with him here.
And no, filthy mind, not that.
We are instead making terrible use of our nights of relative freedom by going out late night shopping and catching up on some work tasks that are always more difficult when we have hands-on parenting responsibility.
Who'll get the most sleep?
I’m also hopeful of some decent nights' sleep, rather than the usual one-eye-open-earlier-that-necessary-get-up protocol usually in place.
This is where I think I’ll struggle to stick to the plan.
My anxiety of having the boy away, will most likely make my sleep even worse than usual, not better.
Phantom child noises may be re-occuring.
I may even end up getting less sleep than usual.
I’m also sure Max will get fewer hours rest than he’s used to, but I’m confident this will be down to having a laugh with his dormitory chums. Infinitely much more fun than what will be keeping me up.
That’s if I’ve packed everything he needed.
And now I’m just off to add that little gem to my list of growing anxieties.