We sat in the garden and waited for the BA0034 to fly overhead so we could wave goodbye to the boys as the 14yo returned to school and the 18yo left home to make an application to join the Royal Marines both in the UK.
Saturday I was reduced to tears when my hairdresser asked when the boys leave, again when the neighbour asked if they got off all right and again when I entered their rooms on Sunday.
We were out Monday for the day and as we approached Centurion I automatically reached for my phone to call home to see if the kids wanted to meet us at the local restaurant for dinner, then remembered they weren't here any more.
Tuesday I was distracted with another airport run, this time to see MIL off after her 6 week visit and Wednesday i was in tears again, but this time with frustration as I cleaned and sorted the boys rooms, washed walls that I'd only painted in August when the 14yo left, removed chewing gum from the side of beds and desks and retrieved ALL the missing items.
Thursday I went swimming for the first time since the 18yo left school in November, then I visited 2 of the places I volunteer at. Friday (today) I had physio and a belated Christmas party in a township and this evening I sat and mused over the past week.
We've got 5 kids and all 5 have now left home, every time my emotions have kicked in and I've sobbed for hours and days even.
We're used to the children not being here, to being on our own and at the moment it feels like they're on holiday. I keep reminding myself I'll be in the UK in March/April and it really isn't that long till I see them all again.
But in the meantime I'm focusing on the benefits of them not being here, especially the 18yo.
I went to the cupboard to fetch a clean glass
Discovered there was still coke in the fridge
Ice cream still in the freezer
And I haven't had a full tank of fuel since the 18yo passed his test last February