It’s that time of year, when exams are over and many British teenagers go on their first holiday, with their friends, unchaperoned.
Our middle child, aged 15 (he’s an August born), has gone to France with four boys from his year. Knowing his capacity for being a dare devil, we came to a compromise, when he first mooted the idea a few months back. A plan was born: they would stay in our next door neighbour’s static home, on a family-friendly site in Brittany (our neighbour’s son is part of the five). My husband would take them there, via Plymouth to Roscoff, go shopping with them to the hypermarket, set the ground rules which have already been established at parent-child meetings. He will leave them tomorrow and they will have to try not to set fire to anything until next Friday when our neighbours arrive for their holiday. They will then be driven the two hour trip to Roscoff and put on the ferry as foot passengers.
What can go wrong?
Am I worried? A little, yes. But I also recognise this is a learning experience. Honestly.
The boys have all saved for this holiday over the last few months. During their week away they will have to learn how to budget and cook etc. It helps that one of them is training to be a chef and that some of them speak passable French – not that it’s really needed in this little Britain campsite. They will hopefully pool their knowledge and skills and not wind each other up too much. It’s a rite of passage that I hope they will journey through safely. (I’m just thankful it’s not Newquay or Magaluf.)
I never had an all girls holiday after O levels. I stayed with my eccentric great aunt in Sussex and did a tour of castles. Nor did I go after A levels. I worked as a waitress all summer in preparation for going to university. Nor did I go after my degree. I got married (we did have five days in Cornwall).
When did this all start?
Any stories out there?
And do I really want to know?