Tonight I feel blue.

Tomorrow I must pack up my big kids ready for boarding school. I will no longer be able to escape the reality that they’re going away: I will face piles of name-taped clothes.

And before dawn on Friday we will leave for the long trek east. On Sunday I will hand them over and early next week I’ll drive home again, without them, and whilst their dad’s out at work all day, Hat and I will rattle around this house on our own. I will miss Amelia’s blaring music and the fact the kitchen looks like a bomb’s hit it every time she bakes; I will miss her chocolate chip cookies for nobody makes them as well. I will miss Ben eternally watching sport on the telly. I will miss him everytime I need help fixing something or lifting something for he won’t be there. I will miss cooking for the 5,000 every mealtime and wondering why there still aren’t leftovers. Though now there will be – I’ll still cook for the 5,000 for old habits die hard – and the leftovers will make me sad.  I will miss their company; their nearness so that I can touch them whenever I want to. I will not be able to bear to go into their rooms at night for their essence will be there but they won’t. Hat and I will be sad together and then we will begin school ourselves for there will be nothing for it but to fill our days with fractions and grammer.  And we will make a Sally Worm with 21 segments so that we might count off the days until we see them.

The very thought gives me a pain in my tummy which hurts so much I want to cry.

17 Responses to “Blue”

  1. lara Says:

    Chin up! They will be back. I have a just-turned-3 and have only just begun this sort of letting go. I had to pray long and hard before I let mine go. But after I did, I realized all the great things she was getting at school. And I saw that they were things she would have missed out on at home. Can you mail your kids a letter per day? Or a package every 5th day or something to remind them regularly of your love and that you will be reunited soon? I feel for you. I hope you find as I have, that my faith increases as I let my daughter fly out into the world, and I try to let her know there’s a safe place for her to return to when it’s time to come home. Grace and peace to you.

  2. alison chino Says:

    i’m so sorry.

    i read your blog all the time, by the way, but never have commented. but i feel how sad you are and i just wanted to say that i hope the emptiness of their places at the table will get a little easier. i am coping with a similar loss of a presence in my house and my community right now that makes me feel a knot in my tummy. i keep wondering when i am going to go a day without crying about it.

    i’m sorry you are facing so many changes all at once. it seems overwhelming. i’ll be thinking of you as you tell them goodbye.

    bon courage

  3. The Good Woman Says:

    Oh dear Anthea. Tomorrow I just pack stuff – so much easier. But, this is a decision you all made together, believing it to be right. Continue to believe that and all will turn out right in the end. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  4. Kelli Says:

    Oh, I am so sorry. I haven’t yet been that mama, but I have been that kid. And it isn’t easy from that perspective either. I hope the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

  5. minx Says:

    Oh, Mem.

  6. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thank you Lara.

    I know GW; a decision we all made together – thanks for reminding me of that: it’s the right one. But it’s not always easy to remember that. Once we’re used to a different status quo it won’t be as hard. I hope.

    I have been that kid, too, Kelli. And I remember being homesick and same tummy knots. I can cope with being sad but I can’t cope if my kids are, so I hope they love it.

    Thank you Minx.

  7. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thanks Chino – for reading and for empathising. I am hoping the new structure to mine and Hat’s day will help to stop big gaps. even if it’s rather finger in dyke-effective to being with.

  8. Primal Sneeze Says:

    Mem, I can’t say I understand as I don’t have kids but I have two friends who, just yesterday, went through the exact opposite as you: They were reunited with the kids.

    They left the boy and girl in the care of a grandmother for three years when they emigrated first to the UK and then to Ireland. The intention was to work hard for 6 months and return home with some decent money. This didn’t happen. It seldom does. Living expenses ate into earnings as did visits home every three or four months. And obviously sending money home for the kids.

    They both have fairly ok jobs now and are renting a nice house and have decided to settle here in Ireland indefinitely. The kids joined them late last night. They have been booked into school and even their books have been bought already. Rooms have been redecorated and filled with a mountain of toys.

    The mother swears to me that leaving them was far easier to cope with than the worry of being reunited. Have they gotten too used to granny? Will they miss her too much to settle in? Are the toys she bought the right ones? Will they like their rooms? Will they like Ireland?

    Really what she is asking herself is, will they see me as their mother or will I be like an aunt who came to visit a few times a year? Will they want to live with me?

    At least you will not have that problem. I know this probably doesn’t help. It’s just me being a typical Paddy – we always compare our problems with greater ones. Ah, sure, it could be worse is one of our much used phrases.

  9. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Primal Sneeze – thank you so much for taking the time to tell me that story. And you know what: you’re right, and my brother, who has evolved as a Paddy after more than 20 years in Ireland, would agree with you and urge me to remember, sure, it could be worse. Because it could. This time in a week I’ll be home without my big kids. But this time in a week I can begin anticipating seeing them again. Thank you.

  10. Lady Latte Says:

    Is it really that hard, wow! With four teenagers at home I find myself looking forward to the quietness. Not having my stuff being misplaced. Not having to compete for the Newspaper in the morning… But I guess you are right, once it happens, it will be very emotional. Hopefully they will leave one at a time so it does not become so overwhelming.

  11. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Lady Latte – thanks for dropping by. It is. That tough. Especially where I live: company is thin on the ground; that of my teens is precious. Doutbless they’ll be delighted to be in an environment to enjoy the company of those their own age-rather than that of going-round-the-bend-mother in the middle of nowhere Africa!

  12. Gillian Says:

    There’s nothing quite like a mother’s love. Especially when the mother is enjoying the kids.

    Thank you, thank you for sharing your enjoyment of your kids.

    My youngest has just returned to England to be with her great love. She’s all grown up now and living on the other side of the world. My sadness is my tenderness for her. I’m so glad to be a mother.

  13. lifeonaboat Says:

    Thinking of you. x

  14. Roberta Says:

    I remember when it was time to send my oldest away to school. I made up reasons to run errands so I could go park the car and weep.

    I empathize with you. But remember, they will be back and they WILL bring others with them! Remember how to cook for 5,000. You are going to need that skill.

  15. Pig in the kitchen Says:

    oh that#’s really bloody sad. Have just arrived here via drunk mummy and confess to being rather drunk, but will bookmark your site and return in a more sober frame of mind.
    I have no personal experience, so can’t write uplifting, ‘don’t worry it will all turn out fine’ comments, but sending you coping vibes – i hope the latter vibes aren’t slurring.

  16. Pig in the kitchen Says:

    I thought of you today (Sunday), I hope it is easier now the goodbyes have been said. I find that anticipating ‘goodbye’ is worse than the reality and that when it’s all over, you can move onto the next stage, which as you said further up the page, is looking forward to the reunion.

  17. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you all: Pig in the Kitchen: how very kind to remember us Sunday. It was hellish. What more can I say. Hellish. But they are being brave. And now I must be too.

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