Written: The 7th Nov, 2013
Let’s talk about my Migo who went camping overnight today at the Warrah School grounds. 6 kids will be sleeping in a couple of tents plus two teachers to supervise. I was aghast at the timing at first because it had been rather cold the past few days despite being summer. So I worried, as mums do. Then last night I checked the weather and saw that Thursday and Friday will be warm. Terrific. Still, I packed winter stuff in Migo’s luggage. He has thick woolen sleeping socks and a beanie to warm his head. Oh I hope he remembers all that I packed. Last night, I showed him everything ~ what’s packed and where and how. Everything is labelled and stored in large zipbags.
I remember two years ago when Migo had his very first night away from home. I actually prepared him by camping at our backyard one night. With all the first world comfort of course. An air mattress, sleeping bags, pillows, and first class toilets (of home). Then he went away to camp and I remember how terribly I missed and worried. I need not have fretted, he had a blast from all the pictures the school sent.
Last year, the school organised another overnight camp. I declined this time. You see, there was a change of venue. It was going to be at a teacher’s home in the Blue Mountains. I had no problem with the school’s teachers per se. But I had no control nor visibility of who else lived in that home. The school did not send any clearance note or anything to allay my fears. I was scared for Migo’s safety. Hence, I declined. Migo’s teacher inquired “Why?” They wanted to know if there were issues that they can help resolve. I did not respond. I simply did not know how to put my fears into written words. That camp was successful and incident-free.
This year, the school decided to do it at the school grounds again. I breathed a sigh of relief. Migo can go. I truly want him to experience LIFE. To be away from us; to make his own decisions; to leave his comfort zone. I want him to experience all the uncertainties and the spontaneity and the surprises and the discomfort and the dis-ease of living outside the house. When we travel, us, his parents have his comfort as top priority. So parang nasa bahay pa rin siya… Without mum and dad in the picture, camping is like throwing a spanner into Migo’s daily routine! And then there’s no Gabo to copy too!
This morning, the camp day, I wrote a note to his teacher. I was missing Migo already. To be sure, I am no longer gripped with concern as I was two years ago. I am pining, more than anything. More “will he be OK without his aloe vera juice and his 8.30 stories with Papa and his nightly Big Bang Theory reruns with Papa.”
At 7.30pm, Ariel muttered to me, “Wala ang TV-mate ko…” quite wistfully. (I don’t have my TV-mate.)
Important NOTE to new readers: Migo is a 15 year old with autism. He has a 14 year old brother named Gabo. Follow Migo and his adventures at Thinking in Pictures. Other blogs about Migo are found at drop down menu under KID-TALK/Special Needs.