It’s been a rollercoaster of a day both from a personal and a parental point of view. Having waved the kids goodbye as they left for School and Nursery this morning I then set about getting ready to attend my close friends Grandfathers funeral.
Raymond was a silent but strong character, he had a strong presence in my upbringing as Steph and I spent a great deal of time together at her Grandparents farm. I have fond memories of jumping into the back of the Maverick and being driven to the pub where Steph and I would play pool or sit and eat crisps whilst eyeing up the local talent or sharing secrets unheard by adult ears.
Only ten months ago I was stood in the very same church watching my friend break her heart as she said farewell to her GrandMother. It seems so wrong that in such a short space of time two treasures have been stolen to shine from above.
Having stayed for the service and having hugged my friend tightly I then jumped back into the car and headed for town where I picked up a couple of pairs of shorts and sweatpants for J to wear on his upcoming residential.
It felt odd to walk around Asda dressed in funeral clobber but given that most people seemed fairly happy to walk around in what I would class as pyjamas it felt somewhat reassuring. After paying for the clothes and filling the car with petrol I headed back to my childhood village where the wake was to take place.
After parking up and heading towards the pub I narrowly avoided becoming road kill to a pickup. This particular pickup which was instantly recognisable and unfortunately not somebody I wished to see at that moment in time. Having caught my breath and corrected myself I headed straight for the bar where I sensibly ordered a soft drink and caught up with familiar and friendly faces from my past.
It felt quite strange being asked where I now live, what my married name is, whether I have kids, where I work, what I do and such like. I realised that despite feeling as if the World knows my business and beyond its thankfully far from the truth.
After catching up with friends I then left to collect E who had been happily playing at my Mother in-laws, we then drove home to have a spot of lunch and to begin packing J’s bags for his residential tomorrow.
I plodded around the house collecting sun tan lotion, sun glasses, hats, sleeping bags, socks, undies, pants, tee shirts, jumpers, trainers, pyjamas, towels, cosmetics and god knows what else then neatly folded my sons belongings into an overnight case. Whilst packing his cosmetics case I realised that J will be expected to shower, to wash and to care for himself without our help or assistance for the first time in his life.
Don’t get me wrong, J is more than able to take care of himself he is after all a big boy now. However, we have pandered to him over the years as parents do. It’s only now that I realise I may have shot myself in the foot as come tomorrow evening I am no doubt going to worry sick about our son.
I am practically wishing time away already, bring on Friday evening when I can collect J and squeeze him tight knowing that he will be sleeping cleaning and comfortably in his own bed that night under my watchful eyes.
It’s only one night but it’s enough to drive me to despair as whilst he has spent nights away with us or his grandparents he has never yet spent the night with anyone else. I trust his teachers and I trust the staff attending the trip but I cannot honestly say that this whole ‘residential’ trip malarkey sits well with me.
God help me next year when he will apparently be spending more than a night away. It’ll get easier with time I am sure as most things tend to do in life. Time is a great healer after all, speaking of time I ought to get myself ready for another shift behind the bar. Here’s hoping work distracts me from my thoughts for a while.