I woke up this morning feeling a little unsettled. Something was not quite as it should be. Then I remembered. We dropped my son off at university yesterday. He has officially left the nest.
Yesterday was a lovely day, he was happy and excited although moving a bit slowly from the excesses of his last night in London. We were happy and excited for him and caught up in sharing a bit of his new adventure. It is a long train trip to Edinburgh from London, his sister came home to take him up so the entire family was together. We spent most of it sleeping.
The promised rain seemed to just miss us as we took his bags from the train station to his new home for the next year. It brought back memories of my first day, the set up wasn’t that different although there were far more students around to help the “freshers”. One such person, a very nice young woman offered to show us to his room. We were making our way there when he ran into someone he knew from school. They weren’t friends, but it is always great to see a familiar face especially so soon upon arrival. We got him unpacked and went off in search of food. After lunch, on the way back to his room, he ran into someone else he knew, an older student who was volunteering. A new place does not seem nearly as daunting when you’ve seen a couple of familiar faces and we left him to participate in freshers week.
As I went to bed last night, I realised that this is it, he will never really live in his room again. Sure he’ll come home for holidays and breaks but he has officially started the rest of his life. The part of our relationship where I worry about where he is when he goes out at night is also over. I am so proud of him and know he’ll do a great job out in the real world. But I can miss my little boy and shed a tear too, right? Just for today.
My son took off on his great adventure this morning. He is on his gap year and has gone travelling for 2 months. The time leading up to departure is a familiar one for anyone who has or had teenagers. You remind them to do things for the trip. They agree, days go by and then it’s the day before departure. Well, I can’t begin to list the things that went wrong. I still have my fingers crossed they let him into the States. He is my baby and I’ve definitely coddled him so I hope by going out there even for a short time on his own, he’ll come back a little more grown up.
Even though he doesn’t start uni until the autumn and he’s only gone for 2 months, his departure symbolizes an empty nest for me. It’s the beginning of the rest of my life. While I adore my children, I’m very happy they are growing up and moving into worlds of their own, both emotionally and geographically.
So what to do with the rest of my life? I’ll put more effort into my cooking classes, I have wonderful friends with expertise in areas where I am seriously deficient so I’m going to take them up on their offers of help. I am also pursuing an opportunity to turn the roasted nuts I do as nibbles for my students into a real product. It opens up a whole other set of challenges which I am trying to meet. The translation business is booming at the moment so I am kept busy happily subtitling the adventures of a robot cat and his hapless human. I think it’s a good place to start to build.
On an entirely different note, I went to a concert with my kids last night. We saw the Foo Fighters. The kids are huge fans and have seen them many times. I have been a fan but have only seen them once before, I think about 13 years ago in Tokyo. The kids credit me with having introduced them to the music so I’m feeling a little cool. Anyway, it was a blast, they are a wonderful band to see and it was so much fun to share an evening with my kids. It wasn’t as loud as I would have liked. Apparently concerts these days are not as loud as the old days and we were in the nosebleed section which may have affected the volume, or maybe it is simply age? There were fans there from early teens through to late 50s which maybe the demographic for established bands with a history these days. I think how different our generation is from that of our parents. I can’t imagine my mom at 52, going with me to a concert (or gigs as they call them now).
Can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next in my life. Whatever it is, I’m ready.