In two weeks time my boy, my firstborn, Sonny, who I adore more than life itself is leaving our home and going to live in a flat with two other guys.
To say that I am heartbroken is an understatement.
Every day, for the past two weeks I have woken up with a tight clenching knotty feeling in my stomach. It’s hideous. Like a Rotweiller that refuses to let go.
I get out of bed and go into the bathroom and I sit on the loo and cry my eyes out quietly.
I don’t know if this is normal. This reaction. Probably not. This has never happened to me before so I don’t know. All I do know is I wasn’t expecting to feel like this.
I have never understood the term ’empty nest syndrome’. Not until now, at least.
I used to look at other mothers who still have their kids at home past the age of twenty and think they were a bit weird. That kid needs to move out. Cut the apron strings.
But now it’s happening to me and I feel as though my world is falling apart.
He’s not even going far. Only into town. He’ll be right there. But I don’t care. He’s leaving.
And yes, I hear you, Tessa, when you tell me that he will probably be home again in two months.
And thank you, my sweet girl, you are mature past your years.
But right now I can only see today and I am terrified of being without my entire family unit. It has always been us four. Always. I can’t bear it.
Two weeks of feeling like this. But you didn’t know, did you?
Of course, you never knew. Because I didn’t tell you.
You may have seen me on TikTok or on Facebook. You may have read my chatty emails. And you didn’t know that these past 14 days I have been putting on a big fake front to hide the fact that my heart is breaking in two and all I want to do is take my family and run far, far away.
“He had to go some time. They can’t stay forever. You wait until he’s been gone a week, He’ll soon realise which side his bread was buttered”.
I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t know if any of these things are true but still; I don’t care.
I probably won’t publish this post, this string of jumbled words that I am typing rapidly on my keyboard with tears streaming down my face.
But if I do, it will be for one reason only.
Because I want you to know that the person who smiles or waves at you from across the street, or sends you a happy emoji on Facebook? That person who cut you up at the roundabout or ignored your friend request? They’re probably going through shit.
They probably woke up crying.
They probably sat on the loo at eight o’clock in the morning and wished it was bedtime.
They’re probably going through a huge change and adjustment. Feeling like their world is ending.
So please remember. We are all the same.
It happens to us all. Noone is immune to sadness. It’s shitty and it hurts and it’s horrible to go through. Let’s always strive to be kind.
If you have always dreamt of living in New Zealand, are under 30 years old and have a bit of dosh saved up (enough to get you back to your own country) you can spend a year working in New Zealand by getting yourself a year-long working Visa.
That way you can see how you like it.
This weeks podcast episode features Adam, a twenty-something chappy from the UK is doing just that.
After being persuaded by his mate to leave Thailand and come to New Zealand to work on a fairground, he got himself a year-long working visa and headed down under.
They say opposites attract. I met my husband when I was 17. I turned forty-seven this year. Thirty years of opposite behaviour and still he hasn’t told me to sling my hook.
He is calm. I am an erratic nutter.
He says to the kids: “let’s just let things blow over and we’ll discuss it in the morning”. I say “let’s get to the bottom of this right now you bloody hooligans”.
He loves Liverpool football club more than life itself. I am overjoyed when he tells me that the Corona Virus has halted all games.
He is a negotiator. I am a control freak.
The kids ask him for something and he says “check with your mum”. They ask me for something I say “and don’t even think about asking your dad”
He loves wine. I love wine a bit more.
I say “let’s talk”. He says “goodnight Liz”
He drinks whiskey at 6 pm, I won’t drink until at least 7 pm. Or maybe ten past six.
He likes his eggs fried. I get constipated if I don’t have enough fibre.
He loves to cuddle up on the sofa and watch films in the middle of the day. I start huffing and puffing and say “it would be a nice day for a walk in the rain wouldn’t it?”
He’s sociable. I quiver if my phone rings.
He laughs out loud when people tell him rude jokes. I tut and shake my head like a granny grunt.
He can laugh at himself. I cry when the kids say I snore like a pig.
He has to listen to the radio in the morning. I prefer silence. Unless its the noise of the kettle being boiled.
He says we’d better leave now, we’re going to be late. I say we’ve got at least another ten minutes, I’m just going to check Pinterest.
He believes in me. I believe in fairies.
He always seems to say the right things to the kids. I lie in bed almost every night thinking “Why the hell did I say that?”
He can’t remember names, I will hunt you down if you owe me two dollars.
He thinks before he speaks. I am a gob on a stick.
He loves Monty Python. I don’t get it.
He encourages me to spend money on myself. I say “how much did that cost?’ if he comes home with a paper bag.
He cooks and it looks as though Tinkerbell has been in the kitchen. I cook? Think Shrek.
He doesn’t give a damn if people like him or not. I am like a Labrador, panting at peoples feet and longing for them to love me.
When he’s had a few drinks he becomes romantic. When I’ve had one too many I become an opinionated bore with wine breath.
He emigrated to New Zealand with me without ever having stepped foot in the country. I won’t go to a restaurant that he’s recommended until scouring it on ‘Trip Advisor’ and googling it to the point of exhaustion.
I love to sit on the beach and watch the waves. He loves to sit in the toilet and watch the highlights of the Liverpool match.
He makes our daughter laugh. I make our daughter annoyed beyond belief.
He makes our son cut the grass. I make our sons’ bed.
He agreed to quit his job and travel around the world for a year with our teenagers so we could all be together. But I keep going off on my own to write newsletters to people online.
His grey hair looks distinguished. Mine looks like a mop that’s been dropped in a bucket of dirty bleach water.
He has laughter lines. I have crows feet. Deep ones.