So yesterday we said goodbye to our teenage son and his gorgeous girlfriend as they headed back to the UK after spending Easter with us. Way harder than leaving him at Cambridge University in October last year.
They arrived earlier this month on the morning his sister had her baby boy in the evening. And we have had just over a month of our family basically spending every possible moment together. So much eating and laughing and connecting! We are a close unit so to be together has been amazing but to say goodbye yesterday has was very very hard.
I have spent the last 24 hours tracking their plane back to the UK all the way from NZ and have just had the FB messenger post that they are safely ‘wheels down’. I know for them that they are back in their other home and that the rest of the year holds excitement, challenge and adventure.
We have our house back to ourselves – and it is already quieter (and tidier!). And I miss them so much already. A lot of tears last night after we farewelled them. I realised this is different to sending him off on a holiday or an OE. He is studying and making a life on the other side of the world. He isn’t going on a holiday – he’s going back to his other home. As is his girlfriend (not the right word for such an important person in his life). They are carving a significant path together at a very young age – watch this space for these two!!
And so to the title – how do we do this as parents? Letting our baby adults leave the nest, fly away – to other cities and countries. Wondering if they will be OK, remember all the things we told them and taught them. Airport hugs and goodbyes. Spoiling them while they are home. Grabbing any moment to chat with them about important things. Still being a slightly nagging parent…
I know that our experience is probably a minor one on the scale of letting them go. We have already been inundated with messenger alerts and they only landed 30 minutes ago. (Let’s hear it for flight tracking apps). And we will see our boy in San Francisco when we visit him on his internship in August and he will be home for Christmas.
And how do they do it? They will miss out on what is going on here, just as much as we will miss out on what is going on there.They leave behind three nieces and nephews who won’t remember this visit. Well one of them might 🙂
As we left the airport yesterday we realised this is our new normal – saying goodbye to our youngest as he heads back overseas, but we know that he will always come back at least for a while and for now that’s something to hold onto.