The countdown has begun…..my firstborn is leaving tomorrow for his FOUR MONTH adventure and I’m feeling a little bit sick. This, I suppose is to be expected. It’s not exactly empty nest syndrome for me because as a divorcee, you have to learn to “let go” of your children much earlier than most because of course you have no involvement or control when they’re staying or on holiday with the other parent
But still. I am not finding it easy. In the last few days I’ve been inviting myself to do things with him. Lunches. Dinners. Drinks. Shopping (not much resistance there of course – how much stuff do they need to put in their bloody backpacks – backpack included). I changed my mind about watching things like “Midnight Express” with him because it would only freak me out – not him. He’s had advice from everyone now about what not to do but of course it is going in one ear and out the other.
All the parents have contacts, advice, interesting places to visit and they’re just not interested. I don’t blame them. They need to find it all out for themselves. But I did check a couple of days ago that he’s got somewhere to stay as soon as he arrives in Australia. But no. He hasn’t organised anything yet thinking it will all just fall into place when he arrives – so I relented and emailed my friend who has very kindly offered to have him for the first few nights.
I’ve found him my Lonely planet book on South East Asia but he says that given it’s circa 1945 it’s not going to be much use – quite probably some of the countries have been renamed let alone practical advice on which bars and hostels to go to.
He hasn’t been well though – had either food poisoning or a 24 hour sickness bug and I sent my brother a text because we’d all had lunch together – “are u feeling OK? R growing up!” – shortly followed by another text saying “sorry – meant to say throwing up”. By which time he thought I’d sent him a question about how he was feeling about his nephew growing up and moving on….
So. I’m at that stage where all I can do is give him the most enormous hug and some money and tell him to have the best time ever and get home safely then stick my fingers in my ears and shut my eyes and hope that some of the things I have taught him will be remembered when required. Including saying “thank you for having me” everywhere he stays (and hopefully not literally anywhere in Thailand).