U is for Umbilical
It’s not just me. I know. Because I have asked other people. A house without a pet feels a bit odd – and you just know when you meet someone whether or not they have a child – and I can’t quite put my finger on it.
You just become a different person when you become a parent. And, my goodness, you’re a parent for life. You never stop worrying about them, protecting them, and forgiving them when they’re hurtful, selfish, rude, ungrateful, etc! Parental love is unconditional. It is, without doubt, the most powerful thing I have ever experienced. It is a maelstrom of emotions, too. You go through stages (like the Terrible Twos) when you could kill them – but you love them so much that you would kill for them – and you would certainly be prepared to die for them.
I have been careful up to now not to make this a sexist thing. But I’m sure the whole ‘leaving the nest’ thing hits the mother most. You grew it. You fed it. You taught it to eat, speak, walk. If you grew a girl, then you’ve spent hours ‘being there’ to talk about love, relationships, appearance, and self-esteem issues. You’ve shopped for clothes. (Ok. I am now crying a little bit as I recall memories – that’s how powerful this love is!)
Then. It really is time to fly the nest. You know it. You know it has to happen. But you don’t want it to. You don’t want the ‘terrible two’, who you wanted to kill, to ever go anywhere. You have, willingly, devoted 18 years of your life to this fledgling. And they have to go.
My daughter didn’t really want me to take her to university but she didn’t have a choice, really. Who else does she know who has an estate car into which she can pack a duvet, bedding, music centre, clothes, lava lamp, precious stuff, books, computer, printer, etc., etc., who won’t charge for fuel, or time lugging things!
I was under strict instructions not to make a fuss. And not to do embarrassing hugs and goodbyes and ‘stuff’.
Having helped lug all her belongings into her tiny room, and having had a quick look at the communal kitchen, it was time for me to go – or should I say let go.
She was rushing about meeting her new friends and was so excited. I was very brave and just said ‘Bye then’. Without a backwards glance, I went to the car and drove round the corner until I was out of sight. I then stopped the car, turned the engine off, and wept very bigly for about ten minutes. It hurt. Bloody hell it hurt.
U is for Underwear
I bought a ‘bargain’ pack of five knickers in the sales. Got the wrong size. They were quite big. Couldn’t be bothered to take them back, so they went into the emergency pile. I have worn them. I like them. They are very comfy. They are very – um – unromantic. I’m feeling old and sad now. Time to move onto the next letter of the alphabet!