Its 18h00 pm on a Thursday evening and the house is exceptionally quiet. Usually around this time the girls shower together and they sing at the top of their voices, chatter and laughter from across their rooms, teasing each other or would have the odd quarrel about silly things.
None of that is happening tonight. And it didn’t happen last night too. This is what my house has been like for the past 2 days.
Lea, my eldest daughter is away on a 3-day school camp. This is her second year of going away on camp. She’s been super excited and counted down the days for this camp. We’ve received one message from her teacher that all is good and they have embarked on their adventure.
Whilst she is undoubtedly being a happy camper and having the time of her life; my youngest daughter, Mika, is experiencing a sense of loss.
It’s a case of having separation anxiety, restless nights and the fact that we had no contact with Lea whilst she is away at camp. Not seeing her has been a big adjustment but even more so, not hearing her voice also contributes to her missing her sister so much.
We experienced the same last year.
As the youngest sibling she has always known her eldest sister to be home. Even if Lea went out without her she had that assurance that she will return and be at home the evening.
As parents, we only allow them to sleep over at their grandparents. When this occurs both of them will go for the sleep over. So it’s not a case of one sleeping over and the other one are left behind at home.
They have been a part of each other’s lives since Mika was born. Although they sometimes have disagreements, they are like two peas in a pod. They best friends, companions and have this strong bond. So when the one is not there, the other feels lonely and lost.
For the past 2 days she has been the only child in the house. Our family dynamics changed slightly. The normal routine has been easier as there was only one child to see to. Suddenly all the attention has shifted to her. It afforded us the opportunity to spend quality time with her. But even with her getting sole attention; this doesn’t mean it is welcomed by her.
It is clear that she misses her sister. The attention that we as parents are giving her is not the same as what she receives from her sister. I’ve noticed that every conversation we had would end up revolving around her sister. Things that she would say is – “I wonder what Lea is doing now” or “how many hours still before she comes back”.
As a parent of two it is strange to only have one child in the house. It has been clear that the role my daughters play in each other’s lives is one of great importance.
Mika and her dad has just left for their father-daughter date night. As she left I heard her shouting – “one more sleep till Lea comes home from camp”.
I bet tomorrow, the noise in the house will be intensified with excitement as Lea returns. To tell you the truth, I kind of miss that noise and the craziness. So I can’t wait for things to return to normal and to be a two-child family again.