It's been said before I know, but it bears repeating: new mums should be given a precautionary notice when first they take those precious little bundles into their arms. Something along the lines of: 'Advisory: On loan'!
There was a feature about 'Empty Nest' syndrome on TV this morning and as I drank my first coffee of the day, I found myself murmuring in sympathy with the mums interviewed, whilst pondering my own job as a mum; after all, let's be honest, nothing really prepares you for the news your work is done, does it? I don't mind admitting I found the rising panic and intense sense of loss, tough to handle both times. Waving Anthony off first, followed by his sister Fay a short while later, with a smile and my blessing, was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. 'Independence Day' always seemed a vague horizon away, I really wasn't ready for it to actually arrive on my own doorstep ...
But now, both my kids have homes of their own, good jobs, lovely life partners and in the case of my son, a family too. We share time often and have evolved a whole new grown-up 'us', which is very special to me. It took a while, but I did eventually come to accept that my grandson's beautiful smile and my son and daughter's independent happiness, are a fair exchange for all the years I shared with them at home. Naturally there are times when I miss their noise and banter, but even so I wouldn't change a thing ... they earned their independence and so did I!