Last Wednesday, I took S down to Bristol University where she has a conditional offer. The Politics Department was having an open day for those with offers. I was really rather impressed with the department, and S seemed excited. She is usually so self-contained, so it was nice to see her get a little bit excited. She reckons she can see herself there. :-) So can I actually, and I can see myself visiting as well. :-)
The campus is lovely, lots of old buildings, and a few new ones for services like the library and the sports complex and the the sciences. It did have a rather lovely feel, very nice. Perhaps a little too nice for me, as I did feel a bit shabby, but a good environment for S - serious, liberal, and middle class!
The nice bit was actually getting to spend the day with her. We never seem to spend any time together, which has been true for years I guess. But we had a long drive down to Bristol, and lots of time to talk in the car, about the world, and her courses and exams, which was how I imagined our relationship would be. Usually, it is just, "Will you be here for tea?" and "See you Sunday" as she is often going to see friends. I am glad that she is growing up, and is so capable, and so independent. She hasn't, in fact, needed me for anything for 4-5 years now. She has just gotten on with her life. But there is also a little twinge of sadness as I sometimes wonder if I have let her down. She seems so capable, she could do with an equally capable mother, instead of a lazy ole hippy.
She is so different from the other 3 children, probably more like I was as a young adult. She doesn't give anything away, and I am never quite sure if what I am doing is right or wrong. The others will tell me, no holding back, when I have screwed up, but they also go to great lengths to make me feel better on a bad day. I get lots of hugs, whether I want them or not. :-) S just gets on with things, and seems to expect everybody else to do the same.
And now, she is getting ready to go out into the world on her own really. I know she can take care of herself, I know she will work hard, and eat properly, and study, as she is very good at managing her time, and money, and schedule. She is almost too responsible. I hope she has fun too. I hope she makes some lifelong friends, and finds the direction in her life that is right for her. And I hope she comes back once in a while to tell us all about it. Because I am really going to miss her.
Deary me, she hasn't even decided where she is going yet, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, and I am already getting overly sentimental.