“Hello Mrs M (that’s me, Mother of a Man-Child), it’s Mr Y from the Z school camp. There’s been an incident involving your son!” This phrase is enough to propel any parent into a momentary panic attack. My first irrational thought: “OMG, is he okay?” This is followed shortly after by “Right, what the hell has he done now!!!”
And so it was that Man-Child II found himself on a “retreat” with the school, designed to give 15-year-old boys some time to reflect on their adolescent journey, and to grow up a little as they enter the serious end of their education. Clearly my son decided it was an opportunity to demonstrate that he wasn’t quite up to the task!!!
It seems Man-Child II had successfully thrown an aerosol can into the fire on camp, which naturally enough exploded about 10 seconds later. Apparently it sounded like a shotgun going off, so you can imagine the initial panic by the teachers. He tells me he was the only one of his friends who volunteered (stupidly) to throw it and that it was a pretty lucky shot from a distance!
Once calm had been restored, and it was clear what had happened (yes with my son the only culprit) they then had to decide how to respond. Since the incident was deemed serious enough, especially since it could have resulted in an injury to someone, the decision was made to send him home early from camp. Hence their call to me, the lucky parent.
My first thought: “Great, a trip to Healesville and back on a week night. Fabulous, can’t wait to spend two hours in the car tonight!” (Sadly we all sign a form agreeing to fetch our wayward children in the event of any such incident like the above. You hope they’re not at the snow trust me!) My second thought was “Gee, I wonder if this will be enough to have him asked to leave the school?”, since it’s not the first time he’s come to the attention of the vice-principal. However, whilst they considered it a serious error of judgment on my son’s part, they also acknowledged it as a “stupid teenage boy thing” so he received a Saturday detention and was sent home early as punishment. Along with the mandatory lectures from a few different teachers along the way, oh and of course Mother and Father of a Man-Child!!
Ironically he thought that it was far better being driven home by one of his teachers than having to sit on the bus. Lucky for me, said teacher was attending a dinner on their last night and so was able to bring him home and save me a trip.
His brother Man-Child I left for his retreat this week. As he got out of the car I simply said “Please don’t get sent home from camp, I couldn’t bear it”.
P.S. Apologies to those subscribers who received a blog notification three times last week via an unexplained glitch – clearly WordPress shared my excitement about the boys moving upstairs!!!