On Twitter, Facebook, Mumsnet and Britmums there’s lots of talk about ‘My Child’s first day at school.’ Some are coping, some are relieved and some are just upset.
Amongst all of this talk there was a status update from my son on facebook, that read.
‘I left home a year ago today’
But I do remember how that day a year ago felt; I’ve forgotten his first day at school. Did I cry? Was I worried? Did he have everything he needed? Would he miss me/be ok?
It’s all gone now, but is there is how I felt when he left home aged 18 to move 120 miles away, worried about whether he’d come home in a few weeks, would he come for visits, or would we be just forgotten about?
I’d helped my son leave home as I’d done with my step son 3 years earlier, prepared them for getting a job with prospects, supported them both through school, GCSEs, college applications etc, taken them for job applications after helping them with their CV’s.
But nothing actually prepares you or them for the moment they leave.
‘I don’t want a fuss mum, I’ll pack my own stuff, will be back in the morning, I’m off out to say bye to my mates,’ arriving home the following day at 12pm, looking tearful, but denying there was a problem. Jeep seats folded and car overloaded and off we set.
A good journey, quite quiet, stopped for lunch, my treat (always is) arrived at destination. Son goes to fetch the keys while I try to park, impossible, so everything off loaded onto the street, I re park and I’m made to stand guard while son goes in to inspect his new home.
‘I’m not staying here, take me home’
‘What...?’ and on closer inspection I see why,’ OK we can clean, I’ll help.’ ‘No, Mum it’s disgusting’
So my son who doesn’t need me anymore, ‘just dump my stuff and leave me I’ll be fine’ attitude has changed. I drag his boss over to the house, he’s saying to me its shared accommodation madam, it’s bound to be untidy. That was until I showed him the toilet that had been leaking for so long had caused the kitchen ceiling to give way and the waste water was dripping onto the units, the freezer where the door wouldn’t shut, the fridge that Kim and Aggie would have been delighted to have swabbed and the thick dust and grease that coated every surface in the house.
Apologies made, a cleaning crew will be sent in, in two days.
Not good enough, so instead of a new uniform with labels hand sewn, this required a trip to a supermarket for cleaning equipment so I could return home alone and leave my son to start his new life.
House cleaned, provisions bought, junk furniture removed from room (Son set his TV up while I was cleaning) and one last trip to the supermarket for son to buy a small tool box.
I left him in the car park. ‘I want you to go now mum’ and he got out the car and walked off. I sat and cried and it took me an hour to compose myself to drive. I managed 7 miles before I hit the services and sat and cried some more.
Little did we know that within 2 weeks we’d be asked to move to South Africa and be gone within 4 months, he came to visit us in March, I went to visit him in July and every time we both cry. We don’t do parting very well.