Things are a bit strange around here at the moment, there’s less arguing, no Sky Sports news left on in the lounge, there’s no aroma of Lynx lingering on the landing and no strapping teenager deposited on the sofa intent on a virtual football match on TV he’s playing with a friend who lives a couple of miles away.
Oldest son has gone away on a school trip to Switzerland, the itinerary looks fantastic - glaciers, mountains, chocolate factories – what an amazing adventure.
Oh he’s been away without me before, is a bit of a seasoned traveller by all accounts, Spain and now Switzerland are on the list of countries he has visited but I have NEVER been to.
Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger - the green eyed monster!
Packing was left to the last minute. On Wednesday evening we gathered all the clothes together; oldest son pulled T shirts off hangers in a heap and I folded them nicely. We worked through the kit list looking for hats – summer and winter, sun cream, waterproof jacket, toothbrush, enough boxer shorts for a week etc.
“Do you want me to help you pack?”
“No I’ll do it.” He said nonchalantly so I left him alone.
It was reminiscent of life with Andrew. I would wash and neatly fold work T shirts after one trip away and Andrew would take them from the “work” draw and pack his bag before he went off shore again. I couldn’t help in anyway apart from make sandwiches to take on the train.
I made sandwiches for oldest son too who went off carrying the same rig bag with Andrew’s name stitched on. He said goodbye with even less fuss and emotion than his dad ever did.
After all he’ll be home in just over a week so what’s the problem?
Sometimes I hated saying goodbye to Andrew, then there were days when I was glad he had gone and things could settle down to “normal”.
But the homecomings must have been great? You’ve seen the military wives on the telly rejoicing at the safe return of their husbands. Hugs and kisses abound.
Well it’s not quite like that when the rota is two weeks on and three weeks off. Andrew would get home and want to check emails, post and have a cup of tea. In the summer he would sometimes get the lawnmower out and cut the grass, which I refused to learn how to do.
It was once 24 hours before I even got a kiss - I’m so sad I counted! Hopefully I am unique in this but with these tough North Sea oil workers I’m not so sure.
And now oldest son is almost a carbon copy, packing his bags and leaving home. Then he will return and life will carry on as before.
Fortunately I am left with youngest son who would hug and kiss me ALL day if I gave him the chance. He is in his element as I am spoiling him rotten with extra treats lined up for every day.
Pizza for tea in front of the telly, a new book and pain au chocolat for breakfast! There’s a cinema trip planned and more surprises hidden in the cupboard – truth be told he is easy to buy for and I have bought him too many Easter pressies.
It probably won’t be long before this is it – just the two of us. I’m going to have to stop buying all the goodies.
In a little over 3 years oldest son will leave home for university to make his own way in the world.
It would be easy to get despondent and bemoan the lonely state I will one day find myself in. The empty nest syndrome will come around all too quickly even if most of the time now I complain I can’t do ANYTHING because of childcare issues!
Looking on the bright side I will be sending into the world a confident young man who can stand on his own two feet and pack his own bags.
We must have done something right!