Leaving Home

So my dears, today was all about being so very, very sad. Indeed, wallowing in sadness, and trying not to sob out loud at inappropriate moments. You see, my boy, my baby who grew up sometime when I wasn't really paying attention, my boy is going away, to another state, to a job, and a house and a new life.

And I am not the least bit sad for him, because he is clever, sensible, kind and funny. He will be fine wherever he goes. But I am so sad for me. Because he is clever, sensible, kind and funny, and he will be missed wherever he leaves. Which is here. Because somehow I blinked and he grew up. Such a cliche. But I imagine that the reason cliches are cliches and everyone keeps repeating them - is because they are so true and representative of the human condition.

He is leaving in just a few days, and when he is gone, that will be the end of his time at home. He will come back for holidays, but I can't imagine he will ever come back to live here. So just like that, after bringing him home from hospital and hanging over his cot for endless sleepless hours, holding his hands for his first steps, teaching him to read, to ride a bike, watching countless soccer games, coaching him through exams, anxiously teaching him to drive and watching him grow up and become an actual adult, we'll be watching him pack his life into his car and drive away from us..

My baby..

Still travelling through life, laughing in the rain..



Unknown said…
Such a lovely post and i feel for you. It must be hard. Still, can you grab the bedroom for a sewing room? Im trying to cheer you up, not make light of your situation. Im not sure mine is every going to leave but that's just the way it is.
Well Done you for raising such a lovely man and giving him to the world (and to some lucky lady). Think of all that is to come. Marriages, Births (Grand Children) ........
Jo said…
Lynda, I'm beginning to think it was a mistake raising a lovely boy. Now I'm going to miss him. If I'd raised a nasty child I would be quite happy for him to leave home..
Two youngest already squabbling over The Boy's room. I think it would make a lovely library..
Heather said…

Oh, how I feel for you. We love our kids so much it is as if they are a part of us.
GretchenJoanna said…
What you have conveyed here reminds me very much of how I felt when my first child got married and left home at the same time. When I watched her walk down the aisle I thought, "How can this have happened so fast?!" At that moment I felt as though I had missed a great deal of her growing up, by not paying attention... Now *all five* of them have gone, and I'm happy that they have gone to be and do good where they are, but yes, I feel sorry for me!!
Anonymous said…
I LOVE that 80's look you have going there Jo, you look like you are one half of the Thompson twins or Hazy Fantazy (can't be bothered looking up how to spell it but you know who I mean ;) ). Your poor husband looks so bewildered...Everything that any man ever needed to know about how it feels to be part of a parenting duo after the baby is born is written on his face. Steve and I bypassed that terrible empty nest syndrome by flying the coop ourselves. First we left my wonderful son and heir at home, alone in W.A. where he took over our lease and carried on regardless as he was working just around the corner (in W.A.) and then we departed our home in Riverside to head out here, leaving our daughters on their own to do their thang. "WE" were the leavers and not the leavies (er...not even sure that is a word but again, you know what I mean ;) ). You can be sure of one thing, they all come back. Stewart has moved into the unit behind his sisters with Kelsey his sweet and most wonderful Texan girlfriend and has that self same bewildered look on his face that your husband has in that first image...imagine trying to live with 3 adult women! Your son is funny and clever and sociable and one day he will bring his own children back to see their wonderful grandmother who shaped him and formed his ethos on the world and who he will want to share that wonderful beginning with his own children. The cycle of love goes on but in order to get those wonderful grandchildren, you need to let them go and that's the hard bit. Are you not up to leaving home? I am sure you could get your husband to go too...he looks like he sometimes does what he is asked, and you really do get over that empty nest thing faster and the kids (especially Posy) would LOVE the extra space... ;)
Sending you hugs ... I feel your pain... as a mother of a son who is getting ready someday soon to do the same. I guess the reality is that you know that you've done a good job to prepare them for the big world and that they are ready to go.
We are trying to prepare ourselves by travelling more and leaving our son some space. Our recent 5 week trip was a bit of an eye opener - it's kind of weird for a while to be a couple again - but you adjust pretty quickly! Take care.
cheers Wendy
Judy said…
I cried too reading your post, Jo. I know having 'couple' time is nice, but it's not the same as having family around me all the time. I found it hard when my eldest daughter left for Uni, but I knew she needed to go. It is lovely when she comes back home though. A friend has got a new puppy for company each time a daughter leaves home, which fills the gap a bit I suppose.

I'm just glad I still have 3 at home, so maybe when the youngest leaves I will have got used to it by then. When I was sad about eldest leaving her younger siblings were sooo lovely, giving me lots of cuddles. Ok enough... now I'm really sobbing :(

Jo said…
Oh, Heather, I know, they are just part of us, and although I know it's a good thing for him to leave, and he'll be so happy.. it will seem wrong for him not to be here..
Gretchen Joanna, we mothers always have to blame ourselves for something, don't we. I imagine my children are often very pleased that I am not 'paying attention'! Anyway, they know that we love them, that's the main thing.
Fran, that is my Anne of Green Gables look,can't you tell? And those are the faces of parents who have had approximately no sleep in 8 weeks, and who also are not keen on having their photos taken..
Clever you for leaving home, because for sure and certain, no-one leaves grieving children behind in a new-to-them house!
Wendy thankyou so much - you are so right, and I know The Boy will be fine. He house-sat with two mates for some family friends last year for three months, and they were super thrifty, and cooked, and even ate the occasional vegetable so I hear.. but it's not the same having to get on a plane to go and visit. Or give up nagging.. I LOVE nagging. He NEEDS me to nag..
Oh Judy, yes, now I'm sobbing too. I won't mention the puppy, it's already a constant refrain around here.
Thanks so much for all your lovely sympathy. Knew I could count on you all:)
Anonymous said…
Soooo sad for you. Losing Child No 1 is such a big change. See the benefits of Sydney living? Offspring are leass likely to need to move for work and study and they generally can't afford to move out of home. So we can hang onto them for longer.

Why does time go so quickly? Has the space-time continuum or universe changed? Your 80s look with your baby was only, like, yesterday. And now he's gone! Eat sme comfort food!
Jo said…
Lucinda, I said the exact thing to The Man. We should have a)bought a family farm so we could have guilted the children into staying on and farming with us forever, or b)chosen to live somewhere with proper universities and job prospects.
The dear boy is quite happy though.
But yes, comfort food:)
oh jo, all the best for you, and all the best for your son in his new adventures. it is the way of life down here in tassie, is it not? the young'uns moving to the greener pastures of interstate.
you will have to visit him. that would be a plan to look forward to.
take care, jo. today is raining down here and would be perfect weather for some very understandable wallowing XX
Whenever Jack is being sweet, I'm heartbroken at the thought of him leaving home. Whenever he's being cranky and fourteen, I'm very eager! But I have to say the three weeks when he was gone this summer gave me a taste of what it would be like to live in a Jack-less house and I didn't like it one bit.

I hope your dear boy at least calls home on a regular basis.

Jo said…
e, lovely weather for wallowing today. Rain and galeforce winds..
Frances, I'm sure he will call home as regularly as I ever did! Enjoy your pesky 14yo while you can:)
Understand and love this post xx Boy 1 now away from home mon-fri and the house feels empty and I am sad without him. Sad how fast it goes xx
Jo said…
Yes, remember when they were toddlers and one day seemed to drag on for years? Now it seems like the years are flying by..
I imagine you are enjoying your weekends!

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