So is this how it will be eventually..? Tonight I have come home to a quiet(ish) house. The cushions are where I left them this morning, the Wi-Fi is still off, there are no wet shoes blocking the door way and no sign of school bags/coats left on the floor in the kitchen. We spent the best part of the weekend packing, unpacking and repacking bags for Child No2 (the 11 year old puppy dog!), who was beyond excited about his first school residential trip! Waterproofs? Check. Walking boots? Check. Clean pants/socks? Check. And so the list went on…… Not a second thought for us, I’m sure, as he boarded the bus the this morning. All he could think about was whether he’d be sharing a room with his mates, or had another lad in the class scuppered their plans and broken into the well thought through dorm plan! So to Exmoor they travelled, to an outdoor adventure centre where the delights of climbing, walking and mountain biking await them. He’ll love it, I know he will. The reality is that we have a week without him, a gaping hole where he should be with his annoying Minecraft YouTube clips and his ever present mini football being tap tap tapped around the house. Add to this Child No1 (the independent cat) is off out tonight with her school, to a production at the Theatre Royal in Bath and it has left the Hub and I all on our lonesome. So this is it, this is what friends with older children have warned us of, this is where it starts…. And I for one do not like it.. not one bit. I know it’s not for long and as I know we have a busy week, I will be filling the time usually spent as a referee of sibling spats focusing on getting assessments marked, training events planned and lessons for next week prepped. The Hub and I might even manage a walk to the local pub (because that’s how we rock!) and we still have Child No1 to keep us busy! However this does serve as a timely reminder that our lives are ticking by at quite a rate and where we once fretted over babysitters and wanting some time to ourselves, we are soon to be faced with nights in on our own and having too much time to ourselves! I can only hope that the ground work has been well placed, that both the children enjoy our company long after many of their friends have written off their own parents, as old, past it and out of touch with reality. We have several sets of friends who have maintained wonderful relationships with their children… if we can harness what they have achieved, then I will feel the job has been done well. I always used to worry about the old cliché that teachers kids were the worst in the class. To date (and with every finger and toe crossed) both No1 and No2 have given us very little cause for concern. Of course, as I type this, I have images of all these 11 year old boys away from home for the first time…. I joked this morning that he may not come back with everything we packed yesterday… there is also a chance he may just come back with everyone else’s stuff (“Well mum, you did say to bring back all 8 pairs of pants… you just didn’t say they had to be mine”!!!)
I will make every effort to enjoy the peace that this evening brings, because I know that Friday will bring a mountain of washing, a head full of stories to be told and a return to the cat/dog fights that we won’t have missed! Do let me know how you have managed to avoid the empty nest trap…. I think I need to start my planning now!