Sunday, January 13, 2008


Well my son and his girlfriend have been and gone. The meal was fine and the house was shiny as a new pin. I've been remembering when I first visited my husband's parents' house. It was a rather odd experience, as his younger sisters kept peering round the door at me and giggling, which was very unnerving.

M's girlfriend seems a nice girl and they seem to enjoy each other's company, which is lovely to see.

I suppose as a mother you always hope your kids are lovable and also capable of giving love in return and so a part of me feels mightily relieved.

My husband said that when he dropped them off my son carried the girl's bag up the 12 flights of stairs to her flat before coming back to the car. He has never, ever offered or done that before, but it's good to know that somehow his DNA has absorbed that this is a kind and considerate thing to do. And he now has someone he cares enough for to actually do it.

All of this is another stage in the long process of letting go. I recently bought a book of poems by a poet who attends my class, and her kids are not at this stage by any means and yet she is already anticipating the empty nest and all that means for her.

I sometimes wonder if my maternal instincts are somewhat lacking and that maybe they have more in common with a starling, "Off you go now dear, fly!".

Don't get me wrong I've enjoyed being a mother but I've always felt the tension of being true to myself and motherhood. And I think I've always believed your children are on loan to you, and the job, first and foremost, is to equip them for flight. However, it is a funny job, in that while you're practising it time seems to drag and you are never really sure that you are doing it the right way, and then before you know it pfft it's over and you wish you'd done it a whole lot better.

All of my eggs are in one basket, I've just got to hope that the basket case who put them there did a good enough job!

Yesterday I got out with the camera for a wee while. These ice patterns on frozen standing water caught my eye.


Blogger Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Those pictures are stunning!

It sounds to me like you've had just the right attitude and done a great job of being a mother. I have friends who lament the onset of the empty nest or bemoan the fact that the nest is already empty. I'd have thought, speaking as one who chose not to have children, that suddenly there was this whole wonderful life just waiting for you, full of adventures and possibilities and with no more school runs and the like to interfere with it.

4:51 pm  
Blogger moonrat said...

yes, awesome pictures...

as for your son's girlfriend story, that's very sweet. how old is he?

10:20 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

They're both 18, almost 19. Very young indeed, and yet other poor souls their age and younger are having to make life and death decisions every day.

I wouldn't want to be young again it is such hard work.

10:31 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Brilliant photos.
You have reached the stage faster and less painfully than I did but then you deserve me-time and can appreciate it. It sounds like it will be a happy relationship - which is a relief when they are at uni.

4:31 pm  
Blogger Shameless said...

I'm glad the dinner went well. :-) What a treat for you ... one of those life moments.

6:17 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Well done! It is a bittersweet thing saying good-bye to those days and appreciating the results. Life's a funny old thing ... But it does gladden the heart to feel proud.

11:36 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

I agree - they are stunning shots - imagine seeing that! I'm right with you on the 'off you go and fly' bit - I've always believed in showing them how to be independent. Mind you it means that already they are very opinionated, and don't get talked down easily; but that's no bad thing in this world.
I can't wait til the fledglings start flying - three years til the first flies!

9:31 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks all. I couldn't believe my luck on the puddles, and when I came back past them a kid had stomped all the ice and they were gone. I don't know why but I felt quite sad.

And thanks for the support on the parenting. I feel better.
My son thanked me for a nice weekend and I got a rare peck on the cheek, which makde it all worthwhile. He and I are too alike in many ways.

10:45 am  
Blogger Verilion said...

Hi Apprentice. I'm still catching up with my favourite blogs. I've been enjoying reading your posts and have to say that these shots are absolutely beautiful.

6:27 pm  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Fabulous fabulous shots.

I was having a good old weep too myself the other night about just the sentiments you write here, the flying children and all. I've a very similar outlook to you on childrearing and I really hope I can do as good a job as you obviously have on your son.

Some days I seriously doubt I will.

9:19 pm  

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