I don't post a lot of personal stuff on my blog - I sometimes feel that my boys are that much bigger, they're not so keen on me posting pictures of them for all to see! Oscar in particular is not a fan. However they have been up to some cool stuff lately and I feel I get bragging rights!
This morning I farewelled my Charlie at the ripe old age of 16, off to the trip of a lifetime. He and 14 other boys are going to Tanzania for 3 whole weeks! Its a trip with a business called Antipodeans Abroad, during which they will help to build rooms at a Masai school and live in the village, climb Mount Meru (4565 metres - thats 14,980 feet!) and then have some days on safari in the Serengeti and on the beach in Zanzibar.
As I looked at all these gorgeous boys this morning I couldn't help but think how different they will return. Not only the amazing experience of a different country, a different lifestyle and a very different socio-economic reality to their everyday, but the wonderful reality of being away from their families for the first time - REALLY away! They have no cell phones, no computers, no iPods. We are cut off from them entirely but for update emails to the group of parents.
(That's Charlie with the red shorts and the cap.) And so while I will admit to having some tears this morning (don't worry, I waited until I was well out of his sight before I let go!) I am so thrilled that we are able to do this for him, and also that he has been so incredible in his fund raising efforts to help pay for his trip. All the boys have contributed in some form to raising part of their fares which I think is a credit to them all, and I'll take this opportunity to thank each and every person who bought a ticket in Charlie's raffle - I have bee truly touched by the willingness of friends, family and the quilting community to help him out in this regard.
Oscar meanwhile has been having exciting times of his own:
(Oscar is second from your right, the second shortest next to the coxen.) If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will have been inundated recently with pictures from the start of the rowing season (sorry!!). I have a very sports obsessed younger son and rowing is his passion. The Year 9 Quads competed in the Scots regatta at the Olympic rowing centre at Penrith last weekend and all aquitted themselves brilliantly for their first row of the seas, and their first row with the seniors!
Oss is in the Seconds and they had a convincing win by a boat length, and weren't they just so proud of themselves.
And so to keep me from worrying about Charlie I will instead this weekend roll along to the next regatta and cheer them on again. If you've been reading my blog since the early days (and wow - we started the Material Obsession blog in 2005!!) you will have watched my little boys grow into these big men, and maybe you're as surprised as I am by their enormousness - or maybe that's just me!! Not so big that they're above a cuddle in my bed with the dog this morning before boarding the plane though.