Hello to you. How are you all? Up and at 'em, fair to middling or hiding under the covers? I confess that I am not feeling it today. I intend to share our wonderful holiday with you all this week (I bet you can't wait..), but at this precise moment I am feeling the weight of an empty bedroom and a son that has begun new adventures at Liverpool University.
Marc and I drove him there yesterday. I made up his bed, and fussed about putting his clothes away and lining up his toiletries. The three of us stood around staring at each other for a bit. It was odd; there were so many things that I wanted to say to Sam, but at the same time I acknowledged to myself that maybe now wasn't the time to do it. It was time for him to straighten his shoulders and face the world without me. This was highlighted by a conversation that we'd had in the car earlier:
"I need some more sun cream for my skin." (Sam has to wear factor 50 cream after his op in the summer. I forgot to take it out of my hand luggage, and had to leave it behind in New York).
"You'll have to go to Boots and get some."
"Great! And I guess that I won't be having my hair cut until December now."
"You'll have to find a hairdresser in Liverpool, Sam." (Sam looks at me in horror)
"You have to start doing these things for yourself now, mate."
"I don't even know how to wash my clothes!"
You may gather that my children have been rather molly coddled. I make no apologies for it. I was too. When I left home, I could neither cook or use a washing machine, and a myriad other mundane tasks seemed beyond my capabilities. I could roll a joint, pull a pint of beer, blow smoke rings, talk my way into night clubs for free and travel round the country on very little money. But I had no idea how to wash my smalls. Ridiculous, no?
But as we all know necessity is the mother of invention, and I gather that my mania for not mixing my whites with my coloureds was picked up from my mother through osmosis. While at Uni, I spent whole days at the launderette. Me and my friend Nina would make a packed lunch, buy a can of Diet Coke from the man with two thumbs' shop and happily spend our Tuesdays washing clothes. My whites remained pristine throughout four years of University. As for cooking, I'll admit that I was as hopeless when I finished Uni as when I started. I lived with people that could cook, and who cooked for me too. I am eternally grateful to Peter and Helena for sharing their pasta with me. In return I washed up for them, and bought them chocolate from the Burma garage.
I am hopeful that Sam has inherited my love of laundry and the ability to inspire pity in others. I'm sue his doe eyes will flatter some girl into mothering him. It may be the girl we saw wandering the corridors of his halls of residence, wearing a flimsy dressing gown and very little else. Actually, maybe not her. But someone equally as willing, although perhaps wearing more than just her underwear while making him his tea.
In short, I know in my heart of hearts that Sam will survive his first few weeks, and that it will all be okay. He texted last night to say that he was off out with a group of people, and that he was having a great time and not to worry. So although I will of course still worry, I know that all will be well. I just need some time to get used to it. That's allowed, right?