Sunday, 23 September 2012

Fly little bird, fly!

Well my littlest bird has now flown the nest and we have all survived!!  It has been a bit of a rocky road but not as terrible as I had anticipated.

Steve, Tom and I went to the house last Sunday and pretty much moved him in, all the big stuff got done.  I spent an hour cleaning the filthiest fridge freezer you have ever seen, Steve put up roller blinds and Tom rebuilt his desk in his new bedroom.  By the time we left you could see he was really looking forward to getting into his new home and being free from parents that have spent the last 2 months insisting he was up and working 5 days a week - since he left college he has been earning his money working at the guest house, stripping and re-making beds, washing laundry and ironing all the bedding as well as cleaning and relaying the breakfast room - he is seriously house trained now!

Monday I was a total wreck, phoned my mother in floods - poor woman thought something terrible had happened!  She was saying "but Debbie he's not going to be very far away, you can go and visit and you know he's looking forward to it" and I replied "I know all that, but he wont be here and I LIKE HIM" sob sob!!!  Whenever I thought about driving away without him on Thursday I burst into tears, think I drove everyone mad.

Thursday finally rolled around and to be honest by then I think everyone felt that things had been dragged out long enough and it was time.  Of course Tom didn't realise that his dad was going out so he was in the shower so their goodbye was through a closed bathroom door - a blessing for them both I think tbh.  Tom and I got the car packed up with the rest of his stuff and headed off.  We got his clothes unpacked and his food in the fridge and then one of his new housemates turned up with her dad.  She is lovely and she and Tom seemed to get on very well.  Tom isn't into partying and socialising and he doesn't drink - which I think is unusual for an 18 year old and he has never given any reason why he doesn't drink, he just never has but I am a little bit concerned it will make it harder for him to fit in as he was very unhappy at college and part of that was due to having no friends.  Tom can be very withdrawn and quiet and make no effort to chat if that's how he is feeling, so I was massively relieved to watch him chat away with C and to hear the two of them laughing away in the kitchen as he was helping her put up pictures did my heart good, I can tell you!

By about 3pm it was apparent that there was nothing left for me to do, he was putting up his pictures, C and her dad were sorting her room and it was time for me to leave.  Tom gave me the biggest hug, told me he loved me and promised me that he would be absolutely fine - he did mention that he would be really glad when everyone left and he could put his pizza in the oven and hitch his ps3 to the big plasma TV in the lounge!  I'll admit I crumpled a bit as I drove away without him and then because of all the work that's being done at the front of the Uni there are long traffic light controlled delays I had a very self indulgent wail whilst I sat through those and then got a grip before hitting the motorway.

Em was out on Thursday evening so I cooked dinner for two for the first time in a very long time - probably since Tom was on a trip to Germany last year with college in fact.  And we opened a bottle of wine and we were both fine.  And then as I put the dinner on the table Tom rang - he couldn't get the oven to light and it was bloody freezing in the house.  After digging through all the letters in the kitchen he discovered that the gas had been cut off.  Suddenly I was in floods of tears and fighting the urge to go and bring him home.  Was so cross as I had been doing so well too.  Tom assured me he was fine, he was going to microwave some soup and watch TV wrapped in his duvet, he'd text his other housemate H who was sorting all the bills and she had assured him that she and her dad would be sorting the gas out when they arrived the next day.

We had some to'ing and fro'ing with his landlord and I have to say I am not impressed.  We have a property that we let out and not only do we ensure it is immaculate before new tenants move in we are a lot more willing to help if they have issues in the first few days and we are letting to adults with kids, not kids away from home on their own.  And we aren't earning £900 a month in rent either!

H and her dad arrived and managed to get the gas sorted and she cooked sausage and mash for the three of them for dinner so that was all good.  Saturday morning they discovered that after the 3 of them had showered their was water coming through the ceiling in the kitchen below the bathroom.  Tom rang the landlord - if you knew Tom you'd know how amazing this is! - and he is sending someone out on Monday to have a look at the shower so as they don't have a bath its a stand up wash only til Monday evening.  Again not ideal, but stuff happens at I am really happy they are dealing with it.  C was supposed to move in on Saturday too but she text the others to say she had been out on Friday night and her drink had been spiked (and I worry that Tom DOESN'T drink?) and was too ill on Saturday to move in, she is due to arrive today.  Tom tried the oven again for his pizza last night, Saturday, and again it wasn't working well enough to cook it and he sounded a bit fed up last night, he said that its getting annoying now that things aren't working properly.  I did suggest that when C arrives with her parents today he asks one of them to have a look at the oven to see if they can sort it out.  Tom is in Uni each day next week to get to know the students on his course, the tutors and the layout of the Uni and I think he will be glad to get started.  We had planned to go and see him on 6th October as Steve heads off to Africa on the 7th to climb Kilimanjaro, but I have now said we could go next weekend as well if he'd like us to especially if things need sorting.  

So its been up and down but not as emotionally wrenching as I had anticipated and for that I am grateful.  I think once all 3 of them are in, their courses are underway and the house isn't falling apart around their ears they will all be very happy!

So here's to Tom and 3 years of hard work, great fun and making life-long friends!


  1. Aww bless you all! It's been so stressful, but he's in now. Phew! The Boy is in work as I type - its Welcome Sunday after all. Many parents will be going through the same range of feelings today as they drive away from their children. I think it would be pretty abnormal if you didn't have those feelings!!

    I can remember my Mum and Dad leaving me at Uni for the first time. As you know, I'm up North and I went to Uni in London - I was a good 250 miles away. Surprisingly to me, it was my Dad that was most effected. He didn't sleep through he night for the first 3 months after I left. Wondering if I was okay, had I got in after a night out. I drew the line at calling him when I got home. I point blank refused! After that, Mum had to give him a bit of a slap and remind him that I was an adult! But I always knew they were there for me and if I needed them, they would be there like a shot. Tom knows that you and Steve are there for him. He'll just enjoy his freedom and learning to spread his wings a little. C & H might even teach him a thing or to. They wont stand for the toilet seat being left up! LOL. I know he'll have a great time, whether he drinks or not. I'm so envious of him right now! Enjoy Uni, Little Bird. It really will be some of the best times of your life. And don't forget to call your parents every now and then. They get angry if you forget!! x

  2. Oh God yes, I had forgotten it was Welcome Sunday, whatever the down falls of a private rental it has got to be easier than being one of 1500 plus families turning up today to move their kids into halls, god love them! Your poor Dad, I know mine was a basket case when I left home - although as my Mum pointed out on Monday I didn't head off to Uni somewhere in the UK, the first time I left home I flew to Vancouver and worked on a cruise ship for a year with no visits, no email, no mobile phone and only the occasional phone call! I think Dad's really struggle with their girls leaving. I was very aware on Thursday that C's dad was standing back and Tom was under close scrutiny, for about 2 minutes until he worked out he wasn't a walking hard-on that would be taking advantage of his daughters' first messy drinking session! xx

  3. Tears Tears!
    My oldest baby left home in Summer, to live with his girlfriend. I never saw the place, as they both work all hours and I was letting him settle in. He's 21 and has his own mobile contract, Ipad, state of the art pc and more shoes than I've ever had. I imagined his new flat )in a rough-ish area) to be full of danger, sharp corners ready to spike a beautiful eye out, unpaid rent and bailliffs bashing him up against walls. I imagined him sad and lonely and desperate to come home. I imagined him soaked from cycling to and from work to return home to a harridan of a gf demanding he put up shelves and him turning to a life of crime and 'weed'. I went to pick him up on New Years Eve, and he has everything just fine. The flat aint no luxury housing, but probably better than his Dads and mines first place and he has it all sussed. Our fears are so much worse than their reality, and as my sister so rightly said..'even if its sh*t, its his life now. He'll make it better. They've got each other' and I thought, yeah. Let him be. As for food, I still stand in the supermarket utterly befuddled as to how much to buy, or trying not to buy 'his' favourites. Yuk.

    1. It is such a wrench isn't it! Since I wrote this Tom has been home a few times and its now a running joke that the only time OH gets really nice meals is when Tom is home and I am cooking for him!! He has lost so much weight since he left and that really worried me initially but he seems, as you say, to have things under control. He is home this weekend for a visit and I have just dropped him down to get the bus into town to meet up with one of his old school friends and I ran throught the litany of "have you got your...." and after the 5th thing I realised that he doesn't need me to do that for him anymore, his response to that was "but it shows you care and that's what matters" god love him!! x


Would love to hear from you, I always read comments and reply and I love not feeling like I am talking to myself! dx


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