Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Silver Lining
This time next week, I’ll be in my car, on my way to England, taking my daughter to university. Goodness knows where we’ll be at precisely this moment (it’s 4.30 pm here in Geneva, Switzerland) but I’m guessing we’ll be somewhere close to Paris, heading towards the port of Calais where we’ll spend the night before catching the ferry the following morning. And goodness knows what sort of state I’ll be in, although judging from my current condition I doubt I’ll be a great candidate for the Miss Perky award.
I’m sad. I’m tearful. Frankly, I’m a bit of a mess.
My beautiful daughter is leaving home. And although I know we’ll be in touch every day thanks to modern technology, and although I know she’ll be home for Christmas, and although I know I can get on a plane and fly over to see her for a couple of days if I really really want to, I know that life in the Prescott household will never be the same again.
I’m thrilled for her, I really am. I’m proud she did so well in her International Baccalaureate, proud she got into the university of her choice, proud of the beautiful, kind, intelligent, talented, wonderful person she’s become. She dazzles me, she truly does. And it’s not as if my nest will be empty; my equally gorgeous, kind, intelligent, talented, wonderful son still has three years of high school in front of him. Thank goodness!
We're all going to miss her. But her departure is going to hit me particularly hard because she and I have always been especially close. We’re like two peas in a pod: our passion for horses, our interest in fashion, our reserved personalities, our obsession with washing our hair, our inability to put the top back on the toothpaste, our incessant worrying about hurting other people’s feelings, our discomfort in large groups. Etc. Big etc!!!! I’ve been blessed, I really have; over the years I've met so many mothers who have suffered from being shut out by their adolescent daughters, enduring tantrums, hurtful comments, inconsiderate behavior. My daughter never put me through anything like that. She and I always have enjoyed each other’s company, have always been able to talk about anything. We've always had fun together. As my mother says, she’s never been a minute’s trouble.
And now she’s going away, and it’s going to be SO strange. Until now, I’d never understood how my mother felt when I boarded a plane and flew off to seek my fortune in America with my boyfriend back in the early Eighties (err, I didn’t find it!). Back then there were no mobile phones, no emails, no way of remaining in contact twenty-four seven. Back then, my parents could only kiss me goodbye, walk away and hope for the best. Communication was limited to letters and the occasional long-distance, madly expensive phone call and, retrospectively, I could have been a little more considerate. Not that they ever complained, bless them. The fact that kids leave home is simply in the grand order of things, but – oh dear - it definitely feels like a significant chink in the circle of life. That cliché about children growing up too fast? Pff!
Oh, I’ll be fine. Of course I will. In fact, I’ve even found a positive point about her moving overseas: I’ll have Kwintus all to myself!
Can you tell I’m clinging to that silver lining?