After 4 years of talking about it, our daughter has found a flat and is moving out. We haven’t been nagging her to go, just gently nudging from time to time and now all the planets have lined up to make it possible. She’s about to start an honours year at Uni, she has a part time job and well, what’s a bit more borrowing from Studylink to buy your soymilk anyway?
I’m looking forward to having a spare room at long last- when her clothes have made it off the floor and the last of her shoes and study folders have found their way into boxes, ready for moving into her new abode. We will no longer open her door just wide enough to throw her possessions into, shaking our heads at the chaos within. Her cat will be distraught- he’s staying here and loves the garment nests in her room. We expect lots of piteous mewing and any staying guests will probably get a moggy for the night thrown in, unless they lock the door very securely.
In a way I can’t believe the day has finally come. One minute I was on the netball courts doing mother duty on freezing Saturday mornings, and the next, helping her find banana boxes to pack her life into. I wrote this poem for Next magazine when contemplating her entry into teenage hood. Now where did that decade go?
My daughter is as tall as me;
With platforms on she's bigger.
She borrows all my favourite shoes
And has a better figure.
I know that in a year’s time,
She'll look down her teenage nose,
At me, her fogie mother,
And rubbish all my clothes.
Then when she's finished uni,
With her massive student loan,
She'll take off for the big wide world
And leave her cat at home.
And I'll remember, smiling,
Her preschool birthday parties,
Fairy dress and tinsel crowns
And chocolate cake with Smarties.
I'll stroke her ancient moggy,
And we'll purr nostalgically,
For the breakfasts made on Mother’s Day;
Burnt toast and luke warm tea.
Then the tears will spring unchecked
And we'll give a desperate moan,
Because, whilst she has flown the nest,
Her brother's never leaving home!
Footnote- her brother has just read this and said ‘I’m finding a flat as soon as my student allowance comes in so you can stop going on about it okay?’ … the cat will be suicidal.