(Just looking back through old writings. This one is dated 19th Sept, 2016)
My son left for university yesterday. He has lived with his father for the last 6 years so he hasn’t left MY home but still.. I wasnt expecting to feel so…bereft.
He was so excited last week. It was infectious. I was excited for him. His life is just beginning. He has so much potential and possibility. He seemed fearless.
But this morning all I can think about is him being on his own in a strange place. Fearful for him. He said he’s ok in a text but that means nothing.
T is the eldest of 7. (Not all birthed by me!) He was the eldest son in a single parent home for several years. He took on a parental role far too soon and that includes towards me. If he’s not ok I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want to worry me. He hates me worrying. (Wrong way round you guys!)
At his age I left for one of the top drama schools in London with a car full of my worldly belongings to shared house between 6 of us in a grotty house in Golders Green. I felt out of my depth. Lost and lonely. I came to loathe some of my flat mates and I was so bloody cold, I wore gloves in bed. Everyone there wanted it so much more than me. Some had been auditioning for over 10 years whereas I walked into it on my first attempt. I should have felt confident and deserving. I didn’t.
I was home in under 3 months.
A years student loan squandered (I’m still deferring that) and my tail between my legs. Not the first time I’d felt like a failure, definitely not the last but the disappointment in my parents and high school teachers was palpable. The experience put me off ever going back into education, of travelling far from home and besides, I was pregnant with Tom by the time next Sept term came around. I was happy enough. I loved being a mum and living in my own flat. In London I’d felt invisible and isolated. Back in mid-wales I had my own little home with my lovely baby. I told myself it was the role I wanted and I did. I was 20 and hadn’t been beaten down. I believed I’d gone through all the terrible hardships early in life and survived. Hah.
I have more faith in my son than I did in myself but I can’t bear the thought of him hiding behind his dorm door. Homesick. Missing his sisters and dad. And me, maybe.
- cut to montage of Tom downing pints surrounded by equally beautiful, young people, dancing and laughing.
When he was 2 he made up a song about rocks and performed it with such gusto! I can still remember the words.
At 10 he held me tightly, stroking my hair and gently hushing me as cried I about L. He had such empathy and a quiet understanding of my pain.
He holds his little sisters hand in public at 18.
He holds my hand too.
I hope we’ve sent him off with more tools in his (bob the builder) kit than I had.