It’s a sure sign that my daughter is growing up when I’m waving her goodbye as her coach departs for her school residential. She’s smiling, laughing and waving excitedly and, waving back with a cheery smile, I’m actually very near to tears.

I couldn’t be more excited for her. Her week will be packed with independence, fun and adventure. Mine will be filled with worry about whether she has enough warm clothes, will the food be okay?, will she cope with staying up so late?, and all those concerns that mums just can’t shake. The worst thing is the ‘not knowing’. Who is she sharing a bunk with? What’s she had for dinner? Is she asleep? She has her fair share of independence at home but I’m always aware of her every movement.

The house is strangely quiet. Her brother is wandering around her empty room looking slightly lost. “Why’s Evie gone?”. “She’s gone to have fun with her friends.” “But, Mummy, she can have lots of fun here with us!”

He’s right, but it’s not the same. I bet she’s having the time of her life!