Tom left for Essex Uni this morning. It’s been pouring down all day, the worst weather to be starting a new life – I only hope it lets up a little when he and DH are carrying multiple boxes of stuff into the HoR this afternoon.
And I’m sure that all empty-nesters say this, but it’s so quiet – nothing but the sound of rain on the windows and the dishwasher chugging away right now. Very strange. It’s an odd mix of emotions – my own first experience of university back in 1977 was a disaster and I’ve tried very hard not to let that affect the way I deal with Tom. My mother fell apart when I left and it’s possible I’ve been a bit reserved in my goodbyes to spare him that horrible guilt-inducing feeling of divided loyalties. I probably won’t visit him, though we might meet up in London for a Saturday if he fancies it. It’s probably a more difficult change for my daughter. They’re close, the two of them, and have many friends in common. Fortunately she’s headed out to a social event this afternoon which will help stop her moping.
You know you have to let your children go and after all the ups and downs Tom has had with his health it’s a real cause for celebration to see him ready to leave and positive about this next life stage. I won’t be completely emptying his room. I think that psychologically it’s important for him to feel it’s there in the background, not a shrine but a place that’s undeniably his. But cleaning up has given me something to do. It’s a new beginning for me, too, though I’ve prepared for it by giving myself challenges to face. I can’t help reflecting that, if all goes well, in two years’ time we’ll be doing something similar for Becky. So it’s a good thing that J and I have such a good relationship. I can quite understand why this finishes off some marriages and I’ve seen it happen a few times.
If it wasn’t chucking it down I’d be gardening this afternoon – I did get out there for a while yesterday and picked the last of the pears. Our almond tree has produced its first crop – well over 100 delicious nuts. I have never tasted almonds fresh from the tree before and they’re a revelation – like sucking on solid blocks of Amaretto. They make a delicious snack once you adjust to the flavour hit.
Probably going to press on with computerising the school library catalogue this afternoon. I’ve now reached 800 in the non-fiction (Dewey) and Tom did the fiction as a holiday job, but it’s still in spreadsheet form and I hope our IT person can convert it into something more user-friendly, or when I eventually leave my job it will leave with me.