It's a strange old day.For once there's no blaring music assaulting my tender eardrums, the fridge hasn't been raided, and there are no hugs and "love you mum" to brighten up my morning. And I really don't like this strange old day much! Why's that? You may well ask. Well, yesturday marked the day when son number 2 flew the nest and made the big leap into becoming a university student. I've been there before when son number 1 did the same thing two years ago. That was hard, but my nest then wasn't quite empty with his brother still here to keep me in mummy mode. However, this time it's doubley worse, as although I'll always be a mum, I feel as though my hands on motherly duties are no longer needed and I'm missing them just being around. It's just far too quiet!
But I can sit back and give myself a little pat on the back. They have both left home keen to be independant and anxious to set off on a new adventure. I've always encouraged them to be adventurous, make their own decisions and learn to stand on their own two feet. Me and their dad have and will always be there to help them and support them if things get tough, but to be independant young men they also need to learn by their own mistakes. If they ever forgot to do their homework or left a PE kit at home, well, that was no fault but their own and they had to face what ever punishment that was dealt them. But I am the first to admit that I am a real old softy of a mum and failed to teach them basic skills such as washing up, making a simple sandwich or hanging up a coat because it was easier for me to do it for them. Would it have been different if I had had daughters and not sons? Would they have had everything done for them? I didn't want my sons growing up thinking that there was such a thing as "woman's work" and "man's work" like generations before them. But what did they ever see me doing? Washing,cooking,cleaning,ironing etc. And what did they see their dad doing? DIY, washing the car,mowing the grass etc. Oops! So much for good intentions!
I've been sitting here pouring over old family photos and reminiscing about times gone by. Marvelling about the fact that the boys are so different than one another. My eldest is out going, a party animal, daredevil, lazy, a bit of a clown, totally unorganized, creative ,untidy, adventerous. And the youngest is reserved, brainy, neat, organized, affectionate, witty, methodical, a worrier. Hard to believe that they have the same parents !
I'm remembering the time when son number I dressed up as a ballerina for a talent show and had everyone in stitches.The day he decided to strip off in a field of sheep at two years old. When he played Scrooge and got tangled up in his too long nightshirt but still delivered his lines whilst rolling around the floor! There was the time when he took it upon himself to try out the zipwire in France which, because he wasn't heavy enough to keep it going, he stopped halfway over a lake. His dad then had to wade into the shallow water and catch him. The time I lost him in Waitrose because he hid behind the toilet rolls! His first day at grammer school looking splendid in his new uniform.
And as for son number 2? The time he refused to join in the infants piece for the Christmas show and told the audience to stop laughing at him. The rendition of a Shirley Bassey number at a school talent show that was truely terrible. Being totally besides myself when he went missing one afternoon.The day I had to pick him up from school, battered and brused from being bullied.Being so proud of his fantastic exam results.
Two different personalities. Two handsome, loving, bright and wonderful sons. It's so hard to see them leave home but it's time, and I have no doubts that they both have a fantastic future ahead for them, even if sometimes things don't always go right. If ever they read this and can stop themselves from cringing with embarassment, I just want you to know that I'm so proud of both of you and love you to bits. Ok, you can now carry on cringing!
Meanwhile I sit here in a house that's too quiet and miss them both terribly.