Monday 12 November 2012

Lost in translation

I look out of my window across a drear landscape, lit only by yellowing leaves on the rambler rose, and the Caramac-coloured leaves on the sycamores by the gate.  A white gleam from the caravan in the field opposite provides a foil for the colours.  The sky is the colour of a grey dove's underwing.  A breeze stirs the arching brambles and ramblers to fidgeting.  As a day, it much like any November day.  But it is . . . different.

Yesterday we helped our son move out to house-share with a friend some 25 miles away.  We knew it was coming - after his foreign travels this summer he was merely waiting for a decent pay-cheque (now he has full time hours) and then we knew he would be gone.  It will make our lives much easier, as the past couple of winters have been very difficult when we have had to go out at 8 p.m. at night to fetch him from work (a 20 mile round trip each time) and this year, get him to early shifts starting at 8 or even 7 a.m.  With ice and snow on the ground, this was never a welcome journey.

He had all he needed up in his attic rooms, and just appeared for meals and to occasionally watch something on tv with us which we all enjoyed.  So why does the house now feel so empty?  A threshold has been crossed and a step taken into a future we cannot  fathom.

I am delaying the moment when I go upstairs to tidy up and make up the spare single bed from storage in the next room.  Then it will all be underlined.  My children have grown up . . .

Early evening, and I am just adding a note  to say thank you all SO MUCH for your support and your positive comments.  Thank heavens for friends - I feel so much better having read them and cheered that shadypinesquilter took time to post for the first time.  Whilst I know it is a job well done to raise your children so they feel confident to leave home and make their own way in the world, it is still hard to give yourself a mental shake and move on.  Now WE have some freedom again - after nearly 26 years of child-raising.

When I bit the bullet and went up to clean and tidy his room, my husband came with me, and that always makes things seem better, to have your partner helping.  I made hundreds of spiders homeless as I vacuumed the beams and nooks and crannies, and we made three heaps of belongings: rubbish, rubbish??, and keep (for the moment).  We put up the spare single bed, put on fresh bedding and aired it with the electric blanket.  We put unwanted? books carefully back on the bookshelf, along with a pile of discarded PC games and old CDs.  Clothing was neatly folded and put away until he has room to have the case with his suits and better clothes in it delivered (Friday probably).  There is another pile of books to be donated to charity and a few passed on or sold.  I feel very much better for having got the first of the three rooms sorted.  I may redecorate there in the New Year/when it warms up, to freshen it up a bit and not everyone wants a red half-timbered wall (though the carpet is red and the rest of the room white).

Right, we don't have to turn out to pick him up at 8 tonight, nor do I have to cook another evening meal at 8.30, so we will settle down and relax.


  1. Dear Jennie don't be too sad, they are all out there in the world growing up and probably having a good time. I sobbed my heart out when my daughter left, now I have four grandchildren to contend with and it gets very expensiveeeeeeeeeeee. Make his bed, stoke the fire and get out all the things you want to do xxx

  2. A new paradigm now in your home. I remember when mine left for the last time--it took some getting used to and yet as Thelma points out-there's space now to do Our Things. I send you a warm hug and a dry tissue. Here's a cuppa too.

  3. I second the comment Thelma made...WELL DONE!!!
    I am quite sure you and your husband are so very proud, to have been able to raise him, give him hugs, love, threats LOL, and everything that good parents do to get their chicks up and running. He is now a young man, with dreams and those dreams have come to pass by your love.
    Yes, the house is empty, but please do not be sad. Its now your turn to release the inner child and re-kindle passions that you have.

  4. Our daughter went off to college at 17 and except for summer break and holidays she never lived at home again. She's an only child so it was hard to see her go, I still cry each time she comes for a visit (she lives about 700 miles away) and then leaves.

  5. It sounds like you will gain a lot of 'commuting time' - but it's not easy. Jx

  6. Thelma - we shall make the most of our freedom before we are too old to enjoy it! That's the trouble with starting a family late . . .

    Shadypinesquilter - welcome and thank you for your kind words!

    Lynda - raising a cuppa to you and I have cracked on with my crochet cushion covers today and just had a great idea for the fastening border on them.

    Denim - thank you for your kind words too. We are proud of all three of them but never let it be said that raising children is easy - it is the hardest job in the world, and I just hope we did it as well as we intended.

    Mac & Janet - I was an only child and know how close your daughter must be to you in thoughts, though not in miles. Tam is over 330 miles away - 700 is double that, and I should imagine you would really love your daughter to be in the same town as you (don't' we all?)

    Jan - the cost of diesel was breaking the bank too. We won't know ourselves now!

    Only downside is . . . our resident cat-sitter has moved out!

  7. I only have one son, but I know how odd it felt when he left home. He never came back after leaving for university, except in the holidays - and then moved to London. Now he lives just down the road and it is lovely to have him so near, without having to do his washing and feed him!
    I know what you mean about the support of friends. I find all my blogging friends such a comfort.

  8. Thanks Weaver. I dream of a time when Tam is back near us again, and all three children are just a short drive away. At the moment, I can tick two out of three boxes!

  9. I think I'm feeling tearful today as yours is the second post that has had them welling in my eyes. Enjoy your freedom and the fact that he has the confidence that you must have instilled in him to make the move. Many don't! My thoughts are very much with you. x

  10. Thanks Em. Sorry to make you well up (although I am very emotional - could never watch a Lassie movie with dry eyes!) He shut the door without a 2nd glance, so I guess that means he was focusing on his new life (of freedom! and within walking distance of a pub . . .)

  11. A belated comment from me, but I do remember that feeling well. It takes a while to really take in the fact that a new stage of life has started. A new stage for both of you, and an exciting time of possibilities for your son. Your three children have had a fantastic start in life. A job well done.xx

  12. I can't imagine how you must feel. I dread the day when my little man (my one and only) leaves home and can't imagine the emptiness. I guess you just start a new chapter of your life and wait for the grandchildren!