Monday, January 08, 2007

Techie Son leaves for overseas today...

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.


Peter said...

Time will fly bye Val, and he will want your craft room back.

Susie said...

He will be here during some winter, spring and summer weather, so he'll experience a range.
Right now it's been very cold!
I think the six months will go quickly, and as you say you can be in contact much more easily these days.

Meow said...

Time will fly, Val, and he'll be back before you know it.
Hope 2007 is treating you well so far.
Take care, Meow

PEA said...

Reading your post reminded me of when my sons left home to be on their is hard but you have to put your trust and faith in them and hope that things work out for them. I think it's a fabulous opportunity for your son...and as you said, with email, cheap international phone rates, etc, you'll be in steady contact with him:-) Hugs xox

Kerri said...

The cold here will be a shock to his system after your warm climate. Sunny CA should warm sooner than it does here in the North East though.
You'll be fine, I'm sure Val, after the initial feeling of 'a hole in your daily existance' (something missing, so to speak) diminishes. He'll be right there in your heart and only an e-mail or phone call away, as you say.
How exciting for him to be embarking on this wonderful adventure. He's his mother's son, isn't he...with the desire to travel in his blood? Probably gets that spirit from both of you.
Your mom and dad will get to enjoy him some!
Hugs dear Val xox

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Val
An interesting posting, cleverly juxtaposed with your own story which captures the emotions of long ago, but now more fully realised of your mother when she bid farewell to you. As you then went on to make all of those life choices.

I think he wil find his time at Berkeley very fruitful and enlightening. !!

Exciting times for your son and for yourself,time now to enjoy just the now, difficult as that is, especially for Mothers.
But best not to worry of the future.Thanks for sharing it with us.

Best wishes

Jude said...

Be prepared to see him come back changed. An essential part of growing up.

I went off to work in New Guinea at age 18. It was very hard on my mother at the time. But when my kids were ready to leave home at the same age, I could only encourage them.

P.S. May the craft room rule!

Robert said...

Wow!!! Another generation enters Cal. I live very close to Berkeley, and want your son to call me or email me for anything. I don't want him to think he's alone in a strange land. I think he should go to Disneyland while he's here.

Tanya said...

Hope you're doing alright without Techie Son nearby. And I have little doubt that he's doing alright in Berkeley (San Francisco is one of my favourite US cities)! What a lucky guy!!

Alice said...

Sorry I'm so late with my reading, Val. I hope your son arrived safe and sound in Berkeley, and that you are becoming just a tiny bit accustomed to that empty room.

Your computer will now take on a very important role as you share in his new life and adventures.

I hope your other son isn't too lonely ... lol.

DellaB said...

Hi Val, mixed feelings to share with you here. I left home at age 21 to live in New Zealand, and stayed away from home for 30 years - I have a stack of letters from my mother, and every one ends the same way 'When are you coming home?'...

When my son was 18, home left him... when I returned to live in Australia, Craig decided to stay in New Zealand, although he was supposed to join me once I got settled - he was 23 before that happened... and he never came back to live with me until he was 27 and 'between' relationships.

Now that both of my kids live in different cities, I have a MUCH better understanding of what my mother must have felt.

But, sadly, we cannot go back...

In the meantime, I am sure that you and your son will both get more out of his 'adventure' as others have said, we are not so far apart these days with all the electronic connections - you will have to get a web-cam; so you can video-conference... that's how I get to blow kisses to my 'babies'...

good to hear from you too

Jeanette said...

Hi Val
Time Fly's 6 months wont take long and he will be home again Take Care

Sonia said...

I agree with Susie, the six months will go quickly! Many happiness to Techie Son. Many hugs to you my friend! (Sorry my belated visit)