Being a homeschool mom, it is quite rare for me to be alone in the house and with no girls to check up on. And this is how it’s going to be for six straight days. Yes, almost a week of no teens in the house!
Arielle, Kayla, and five of their invited female friends (four from Manila and one from Bacolod) are currently in a marine camp in Bacolod. Day 1 of camp started yesterday, May 6, and will end on Saturday, May 10. So, I see them all again in Manila on Sunday, May 11, which happens to Mother’s Day.
It is their second time to join this particular camp. It’s called Danjugan Island Summer Marine Camp. They’ve joined another out-of-town, less-than-a-week long camp before which was the CISV camp. After discussing and making an evaluation of which camp for them is better, they chose this marine camp, hands-down. I’m not quite surprised because being a nature- and beach-loving family, Arielle and Kayla, both love the sand, sun, and sea. Arielle’s now a certified junior scuba diver and Kayla loves to snorkel and has learned to free dive, too. The marine camp last year gave them a rich and super fun learning experience, a chance to explore Bacolod, and especially savor the flavorful chicken inasal, the province’s chicken barbecue. I, myself, enjoyed my stay in Bacolod last year, giving me a time to slow down and be a tourist in my own country.
Logistics for this year is different. Last year, Mike and I stayed the whole time in Bacolod in our couple friend’s house while the girls are at camp. The girls, their two invited friends, Mike, and I all flew in and out of Bacolod together. Since Arielle and Kayla invited four friends this time, we chose to book ourselves in a hotel, L Fisher Chalet, for an overnight stay before leaving for Danjugan Island early in the morning, instead of all eight of us staying at our friends’ house.
Upon arriving in Bacolod, from the airport, we headed to Chicken House to have chicken inasal for lunch,. What else??? Bacolod IS inasal! With happy tummies, we checked in and settled down at our hotel after, and was able to go to The Ruins late in the afternoon for some photo ops. Dinner was at Aboy’s, a personal favorite!
The next day, we all were up at 4:30 a.m. so we can all have breakfast at McDonald’s at 5:30. Meetup time for the campers was 6:30 a.m. After bringing them to their designated meetup place, waiting for a while and finally sending them off, Mike and I stayed just a couple more hours in Bacolod and flew back to Manila. While waiting for the time we must head off to the airport, we leisurely had breakfast with our friend (whose daughter also joined the camp this time) back in our hotel, checked out, bought some pasalubong at Quan (Napoleones, mmmmm!!!) and Bongbong’s (piyaya, butterscotch, assorted tarts, and danggit from Cebu), had lunch (chicken inasal, of course, and crispy chicken skin…I know, it’s not healthy!) at Hestia. It was mission accomplished! Sending off all six teens to camp, eating chicken inasal one more time, buying local delicacies, and flying back home.
As I write this, our girls are 400 kilometres from Batangas, 400.43 kilometres to be exact and about an hour of flight from Manila. They are in Visayas and I am in Luzon! It is our first time to be away from each other this faaaaar and this loooong! It does feel kinda strange but at the same time, I feel it’s something I have to learn getting used to. After all, our girls are no longer kids but teens and they soon need to flap their wings and be more independent. Arielle actually got really excited when I mentioned to her that she should observe and learn how we checked ourselves in at the airport so they can do it on their own next year.
I won’t be around to pick them up from camp. Mike will be the one to go back to Bacolod and stay there for one night before they all head back to Manila. I decided to stay home and enjoy my break straight. This is a rare opportunity for me! Besides, when they get back, it will be on May 11, Sunday, which is also Balik Bukid, a country fair I’ve missed already twice and am planning to go to this time.
So, this is another good change I’m having right now. Homeschooling does strengthen our bond and relationships as a family since we’re always together. At the same time, the lifestyle also gives us the environment, the opportunities to parent and release our children to the bigger world NATURALLY.
I am sooo sure the girls are having a grand time at camp…on an island…at a marine sanctuary…learning new things hands-on…and being with new friends! I haven’t received any text messages from them since noon yesterday! In the meantime, I am savoring these days of being kid-less, even if it’s just for a short period of time. I also deserve to have my vacation and “camp out” in my bed, without having to think about schedules and what’s going to be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
This is Teen Parenting for me, Letting Go course 🙂 It is a new parenting strategy and path to take. Something that is bound to happen and I’m slowly learning how to do it successfully.
Have you let go of your kids? What small or big steps have you taken?