This is a first for me, featuring a photo on Window Wednesday that not only I didn’t take, but that I also wasn’t even nearby when it was being taken.
The above pic was taken by my youngest, Ellie in Venice earlier this week. Her first trip abroad without one of us, or a teacher, just her and a mate flying off to Italy for eight nights, staying in three different cities, being in charge of themselves. From airports to hotels, to train stations in Rome, Florence and Venice, they did it all. By themselves. They even did all the touristy sightseeing things you would expect and didn’t just spend their time on Snapchat as the media would have us think us all think is all 18 year olds do all day.
So whilst I watched all my friends with younger children preparing their youngsters for going back to school at the beginning of September I was watching Ellie get ready for this trip. Book bags replaced by rucksacks, Timberland walking boots replacing school shoes, blazers replaced by hoodies and jeans. Extra shifts at work to help with spending money, Euros being ordered, EHIC cards and passport found and double checked all whilst I watched on as my teen showed just how organised she can be.
It didn’t really hit me at the time but as I watched Ellie posting pictures of her trip online I realised what a huge step this was. Not only for her being responsible for it all, but for me waving her off.
I had a real lump in my throat as we left for Malta because as we checked in for flight home last Monday, she was checking in for her flight out. We literally crossed mid air somewhere over the channel. More than that though I had a sense that the world is a scary place these days and with the atrocity in Barcelona recently I had a real fear of “what happens if that happens in Rome?” Pickpockets are one thing, annoying, an inconvenience when your money, phone and passport get stolen, the holiday would be ruined. But what about a bomb? Or a car being driven into the crowd? I couldn’t bear to think about it.
Then whilst we she was away I read about a woman being raped in a park in Rome and was on the verge of texting her to scream that she mustn’t leave the hotel room anymore before I caught and had a world with myself.
Another rite of passage has passed now. All of my three teens have now done trips abroad without me. Travelled and returned with tales to tell of people met, sights seen, gelato consumed (oh all the gelato)
Photos of windows taken that when I said “that looks like a Window Wednesday pic to me” the response is “that’s why I took it, feel free to nick it”
So I did.