Tomorrow we find out if Tom is going to University or not. He thinks not. I, the world's biggest optimist, think maybe. His Dad, who is never wrong, thinks that he might be fine but on the other hand he might not. Emily thinks he needs to hurry the hell up and move out so she we can sort out our basement flat so she gets a much bigger bedroom.
Tom walked when he was 10 months old, a good couple of months before most babies would expect to be up and on their feet. That was the last time Tom did anything more quickly than might have been expected. He was five and still insisting that he couldn't ride a bike without stabilisers - it took Steve running alongside pretending he was holding on to get him up and running. Tom hates to fail. When he was at primary school he had a spelling test every Monday morning so we started every Friday evening with a straight off 20 words spelling test. Those he got right we ticked. The rest he wrote out three times, then we did the test again. Write out 3 times, test and so on until by Monday morning he was able to spell all 20 perfectly. He once got 19 out of 20 and was so upset, bless him! You are probably thinking he aced his GCSE's with a plethora of A's and A*'s. Sadly you'd be wrong, somewhere along the line Toms fear of failure was overtaken by his abject terror of doing any sodding work at all.
We ended up having a crisis meeting after we got his mock GCSE results. Tom, Steve and I in the kitchen. Tom in bits because he was staring failure in the face and Steve and I petrified that he was going to throw away a golden opportunity. I will never forget watching him walk up from school in the pouring rain clutching his GCSE results envelope. I was sat in the car waiting and he didn't look up until he was nearly at the car and when he did he looked straight into my eyes and smiled the broadest smile, I burst into tears there and then! They weren't great but they were enough to get him into the very good local college to study his A Levels.
And then came the wilderness years. For two years I have heard myself say "are you sure you aren't supposed to be working?" "show me what work you have done" "seriously, are you shitting me? Is that it?". I have gently coaxed "Sweetheart, why don't you get your History text book and come and sit with me whilst I work" I have cajoled "History text book now" and I have castigated "Work you bastard, work" all to no effect. And tomorrow the results of Tom's torpid approach to learning will come home to roost. I am bricking it.
He has an offer of 260 points to study Criminology at Lincoln. Its a lovely University, great accommodation, right in the centre of Lincoln and its about an hour and half down the A1. I am desperately hoping that he'll get 200 points, they'll want the £30,000 fees and they'll take him.
Which is great. Or it will be, until we get to September 17th and I have to drive my only son to Lincoln, unload his world from my car to his accommodation, kiss him and drive home. Without him. Oh god. I can't do it. Part of me almost wants him to fail so I wont have to. So I will have to remind myself that having kids is about giving them wings so they can fly away, even if it breaks you heart
I'll update this post tomorrow with the results - if I am not frantically trying to get him sorted through Clearing before we go on holiday on Monday!