Apparently the two hardest days of a parent’s life are the day they bring their new born baby home and the first day at home without their new born adult.
I must be doing this completely wrong. When we brought biggest bairn home from the hospital she slept constantly. Fast forward 18 years and we’ve just dropped her off in Edinburgh to begin her university adventure and I’ve still to shed a tear.
She’s safe. She’s warm. She’s fed. She’s loved. The mantra keeping us sane for almost two decades.
On repeat, this saw us through everything. Sleepless nights. Colic. Night terrors. Chicken Pox. More babies. Starting primary school. Starting high school. Solo flights to Australia at only 15 years old and now university.
By the power of modern technology, I’ve just spoken to her, and she’s safe in her new flat. She’s very warm as the heating is on.
She’s fed, only toast but let’s not aim too high for the first week and she is loved. So loved she has been swept up in a great big hug of warm wishes, good luck cards, gifts and offers of visits.
It’s all rather overwhelming. For her AND for us.
Watching from the sidelines
We are painfully aware this exciting journey isn’t ours to navigate. Instead, we get to watch from the side lines, provide cheerleading, support, and reassurance.
Only stepping in when requested, although I will admit I have identified a few businesses nearby that she might enquire regards job vacancies.
As you can imagine, having worked non-stop all summer to get herself to university, she was delighted at the prospect of starting somewhere new! Back. Off. Mum.
Dropping her off cemented to the mister and I just how ‘past it’ we are. Mustering up skills gleaned from a misspent youth playing Tetris, we packed all her gear into the car, almost forgetting to leave space for her.
Streams of motherly advice
Driving through to her new digs (and using words like ‘digs’) stressing the importance of avoiding dodgy men, bounders and cads.
Be friendly and welcoming to new people but not so friendly they’ll end up thinking you have feelings for them.
Make new friends, but remember this isn’t school so you don’t have to like everyone and not everyone will like you.
Remember to be kind and share but keep in mind this isn’t a free for all and we can’t afford to replace expensive, lost items.
No wonder she was running out the car before we’d properly stopped.
Arriving at halls, the university set-up really impressed us. Smooth and efficient key collection. Welcome packs, t-shirts, bottles of water and (this was the highlight) piles of free Tunnocks Caramel Wafers.
I am now utterly convinced of the classiness of the establishment and any doubt I had regards bringing precious first born here evaporated as quickly as the removal of the red and gold shiny wrapping.
Eleventy billion people moving in and one lift. Every student looked like they were 12 years old, making me want to apologise to the people I called old at 30 when I was 18.
Parents swapped knowing, exhausted looks between them, even himself struck up a conversation with a lovely chap who announced he was ‘past all of this’ as he was 73 years old. Amazing how spritely the mister became after that wee chat.
A ‘sortumn’ wardrobe…
With everything unloaded from the car, the eldest realised she’d succumbed to a ‘sortumn’ wardrobe, bringing absolutely everything to combat the time of year when you’re torn between one last beach trip and the need for a chunky jumper.
After a quick jaunt to IKEA, for some coat hangers (the one thing himself was supposed to pack) we left after imparting some sage advice.
Please remember, precious eldest child, cocktail drunk is a whole different type of drunk.
One minute they taste like juice, the next minute you can’t walk in a straight line. Plus, there is no heartache as sore as paying £10 for a cocktail and don’t end up liking it.
So excited to see what she does next and as parents we are now in panic mode having been presented with some alone time. Should we read a book? Clean the house? Learn Spanish? Get the bikes out? Do all the things?
ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND time is up.