Wednesday, 26 September 2018
The turning year
Difficult to imagine now but it was exactly a year ago we were slowly packing up our son's home-life to transfer it a few hours Westwards to Bordeaux - guitars, paints, clothes, flat-pack bed, pots, pans, etc.
This year it's a lot easier - a lot less kitchen equipment and a few more guitars.
I'm aware of a slight hovering melancholia but NOTHING like last time when it had felt as if we were winding up our parent lives too. A bit, 'err, what now . . .' Tons of stuff of course, work, writing projects, music, but a palpable sense of 'well, we've done our bit in this human existence-thing' was certainly present as we loaded the car, and hugely present as I had returned with the car, empty.
It's been a long and happy summer with the lad having slotted comfortably back into the family life almost as if he had never gone away. But now it's time for him to reconnect with friends and re-learn the arts of hand-washing socks, stretching food-budgets and living in a tiny space - as it should be.
He'll return however every few weeks or so with a foetid bag of linen and graze solidly stocking up on nourishment, and we shall look forward to that.
I was talking to a newish friend recently about the parent/offspring uni/work separation thing and how traumatic we had found it. She had leaned back against her kitchen dresser and rolled her eyes.
"Christ, I couldn't wait for them to go! - both of them."
"Really," I had said, slightly amazed at the fervour in her voice.
"Y-es! Got my life back!"
I suppose in some ways that might be true - a few less meals to provide, less washing, less nagging about stuff, although these days he's realised that being adult does mean a certain responsibility and sharing of jobs - the emptying of the compost bin, no longer an annoying thing to try and get out of, washing up is just part of life, etc.
What else. Err, stuff does stay cleaner. And . . . Nothing really. He's great to have around. We laugh, walk dogs, cook and discuss life, politics and reenact bits of Tim Vine/Spaced/Black Books.
Yes. I will miss him again but not quite to that same visceral degree.
Happy new term-time, lad of ours.