The kids were told just two hours before we were leaving, so that Ellie’s anxiety didn’t rise too much – though we did have worries about who was going to be there and that they would all look at us when we arrived!
After a couple of minor wobbles on the way we arrived at our destination – The Great Wood (sounds grand doesn’t it?) and I was both delighted and surprised to see it was absolutely deserted! Nobody there, nada! For the middle of the summer holidays this is quite unusual but it was such a help for Ellie.
After we had set up the multiple chairs, (we had more chairs than people) unpacked lots of play equipment and had a little food, all the kids went off to play ‘dens’ by the stream and had a competition of which group could make the best one. However, Ellie was still sat with us mums, not wanting to leave me.
After my persuasion failed, it took a couple of goes from another mum and then she did it… Ellie went off with her friend to join the group… which was out of our sight.
Whilst this isn’t a big deal to a ‘neurotypical child’ this was massive for Ellie. As she has got older, the anxiety has worsened. She will constantly check where I am at home (usually in the kitchen!) because she worries I will leave her – tempting as it is sometimes, that has never happened!!
To see our daughter feel relaxed in a group of children playing games out in the open (with no damn technology around) was joyful… and it gave me some much needed catch up time with the girls for a giggle and some inappropriate chat!
The kids were gone for a long while playing and Ellie only checked a couple of times. All us mums felt really proud of her – this was a big deal and a real confidence boost.
There was disappointment from the kids when it was time to leave – a sign of a good day out.
It didn’t take long however for the switch to negativity to kick in and five minutes into the journey home I was being accused of not letting Ellie play with her friends!! WTF!
Aaaaah, normal service resumed! It still didn’t spoil my brilliant day in the woods!
Until next time,
Love & hugs xxx