I can't remember whether I posted about this last year, but Techie Son applied for and was accepted to do a semester as an exchange student at the University of California at Berkeley. The whole process from first finding out about the program until today, when he leaves, has been a long one. And now here's the day of reckoning, when my "baby" leaves home for six months. Oh, yes, now I remember that I did post about this, and was thinking about turning his room into a craft room for me. (heh heh, that's still on the cards)
But today I think about other things. Will I worry? Will I cry? Will he make the most of this opportunity? Will he find an American girlfriend, like his dad, but maybe that girlfriend will not want to come to Australia? Am I jumping too far ahead? Calm down, Val, let's just get him to the airport first.
Alice and Kerri have emailed me about their experiences of sending off their own children, and it is comforting to know that this is something many people do and survive. A while back I wrote about what my mother had to go through in the 60s when I went overseas for the first time:
... she was at home, doing the Mom-thing, which was worrying about me when I was traveling around Europe by myself. But the best thing she did was NOT to lay a trip on me about going to Europe as a 19 year old on her own, even though it must have been dreadful to see me fly off to the unknown. And those were the days of no internet, no emails or mobile phones, and normal phone calls were prohibitively expensive. Communication was infrequent; how she must have suffered, and there I was, having the time of my life, working and traveling, not realising until I was a parent many years later, what she must have gone through.
Now it is my turn to be the one at home, waiting. But now there's the email, cheap international phone rates, my family and friends are near the university, and we even know, quite well, where Techie Son will be living: International House is where the Man Who Cooks and I met nearly 40 years ago. So I certainly have it easier than my mother did. I will try to remember this over the next few months.