Charlotte approached the international departure gate and was approached by someone waiting for her. She turned to smile and wave us a good-bye. I was aware of her Daddy saying, ‘Can I have a hug?’, whilst I grappled with young two-year old Alice in my arms – who was determined to make a run through the ‘Only passengers beyond this point’ sign and catch the flight with her nine year old sister. Our six year old daughter, Sophie, stood watching – as though seeing a scene in a movie and being not really a part of it all. Within less than a minute our oldest daughter had walked through the point of no return – without a flicker of doubt. She headed off with the independent, head strong determination she showed from birth – leaving us all feeling suddenly bereft of one member of our family of five.
I quickly diverted young Alice’s attention to some toy sheep at a shop nearby and we then made our way out of the airport feeling very strange. We stopped at Lyall Bay beach to play till Charlotte’s flight took off, waiting to wave her off with our love and wishes for an amazing week of fun in Byron Bay with her friend from birth, Inde.
We couldn’t believe how brave and strong she was in heading off on her first independent flight. She convinced us she was ready – otherwise we never would have booked the flight. She’ll be in good hands and have an amazing time – probably too good of a time that she’ll be a bit depressed about returning to our crazy household and her mad sisters (she did say that she needed a ‘break’ from her sisters – tee, hee!). Whilst Sophie and Alice waited for Charlotte’s flight to take off they stripped off and jumped in and out the waves as though is was the height of summer!
When Charlotte’s flight did take off we all waved and said ‘Happy holiday Charlotte!’…
Which left Alice suddenly feeling very sad…
And Sophie realized how much she was going to miss her sister too, saying, ‘I’m really going to miss having someone to fight with…’ she was joking (kind of)…!
To our dear Charlotte,
If you happen to read this, we hope you have a great time with Inde and her fabulous folks Charlotte!
Skype us if you get a chance. We’ll be thinking of you so much. Here’s a pic of you with young Alice on the morning before you flew off to Australia…
It was a wonderful morning and we bid you farewell knowing, with no shadow of a doubt, that you were highly organised and well packed for your adventure! Your packing list amazed us…. all the detail and deciding what to put in your hand luggage and what to put in your main suitcase… now, don’t forget to use that ‘Sunscream’ x
With all our love (and hugs – though we know you don’t like anything too squishy!),
Your proud Mum and Dad, and loving sisters, Charlotte and Alice xxxx