Fond farewell as Sunny departs
PUBLISHED: 18:20 31 August 2017
Suddenly a day that felt ages away has arrived and I’m struggling
You’re packing your suitcases for Canada. You have a list, from phone charger and sunglasses to warm socks, and I know you’re getting through it.
I was trying to help; suggesting laundry tablets so your washing smells like home, trying to pair socks, offering to clean your trainers, but you don’t really need me.
I knew this day was coming so why is it so difficult for me?
You’re nervous and excited and busy. I’m watching you, number one daughter, checking adaptors and laying out outfits, double wrapping toiletries and choosing photos to take.
I’m so proud of you; you’ve organised every part of this, your next step. From packing, visas and grants to medicals, study plans, flight tickets, insurance, accommodation and airport transfer to seeing friends and family, you’ve had a plan.
For a teenager who usually jumps in the car, late, with toothbrush, breakfast and shoes in hand, whenever we try to go anywhere, this is seriously impressive.
But now I’m wondering why I was so enthusiastic about you applying to study your second year at uni in Canada. Why was I so chuffed when you were offered a place? Why didn’t I encourage you to stay at uni in Plymouth? I find that too far away already; Canada, what was I thinking of?
You’re going on your own. You know no-one. You’re flying across the Atlantic by yourself to go to a uni you only know from internet research in an area none of us have ever heard of.
I did nothing like this. The furthest I went was Essex for three years, even then Grandma and Grandad dropped me off and I headed home to Norfolk as soon as I could.
We all want our children to do more and have even more fun than we did, to have the best bits of our childhood and then some, but when doing more means nine months, thousands of miles away, I’m not so sure.
But I won’t tell you this. I’m so proud of you, so I’ll tell you that and try to keep smiling.