I did it! I survived the week in which the eldest child moved home and the middle one left. Of course I have to point out that these are not sweet little children any more, but big, hairy men of 21 and 18 who have gathered the clutter of young adult life.
The eldest decided that it will be more cost effective to live at home for his fourth and final year, after paying the high costs of central London living for the past three years. At the moment I am undecided who is going to find his return home hardest, him or us! His sister was distraught to find he was coming back – she thought that she would be free of both brothers….not one going and one returning! Her plans to spread the art studio into his bedroom have been thwarted. He has lived with the bright lights for three years, with only himself to consider (well, and the odd flatmate), whilst we have got used to having a spare room, a varied diet and no concerns about what time he is rolling out of London’s night spots, because out of sight out of mind, right?!
He has already created havoc by deciding to decorate his room before moving back into it – but this has involved emptying said room onto the landing and then moving his flat contents back into the house, which are of course in the hall! We cannot move for cases and computers and furniture. So when son number two should have been packing up ready for his imminent departure do you think we could find empty cases? Actually I don’t know why I am saying “we” as it was very much “I” – if it had all been left to him I’m not sure he would be there now!
This morning on waking with pain and fatigue running through everything, yes even my teeth, I concluded that this going off and coming back from university is pretty stressful. “But it’s not even you, Mum!” each boy will shout at me, with no understanding that for me the decision to use up all my physical and mental resources, or spoons as we chronic community say, to ensure they are safe and sorted is a no brainer. The journey from south London to Nottingham was hideous on Friday – there was an accident on the motorway needing an air ambulance, a huge detour and then arrival in the city at rush hour. The B&B that I had booked, whilst fantastic in that we had a self contained flatlet, proved to be on a nightmare hill and in a huge Victorian house…and you guessed it our apartment was in the basement. Not for the physically challenged – I needed my wheels by the time we got there – and also not for those trying to adjust to a brand new pair of varifocal specs. So our arrival in Nottingham saw hubby in his new specs (he has never worn glasses before) trying to help me with my completely dead leg and back pain down a set of wet steps, whilst asking “Are these steps tilting to the side? I think they are at a funny angle”. NO!! It is your brain trying to adjust to new specs, but you are about to drop me…..
Anyway we deposited the politics student (more nervous than he would admit) to his new home yesterday morning and spent a couple of hours on the very hilly, but very beautiful University of Nottingham campus. At lunchtime the canteens and coffee shops were full of anxious looking parents and equally anxious, but embarrassed
new students – my son commented that no one had managed to break free of the parents yet! Charming!! The funny thing is that it seems like only yesterday that my parents were dropping me at the nurses’ home where I would live for several years, and I can still remember that feeling of panic that I wouldn’t know who to talk to or where to go. So it was with some relief that, having told our boy to leave his door open so that he could say hello to flat mates, he informed his brother over messenger last night that he was in the pub with his flatmates.
I can’t believe I am saying this, and I expect I will contradict myself over the next 3 years, but the pain, gastric problems, increased POTS symptoms and body consuming fatigue today, have all been worth it to hear him say “Mum, I can’t talk now, I’m going to the bar with new friends”!
Don’t tell him, but I’m actually a very proud mum!