The eldest offspring goes back to university tomorrow. This is nice for me in only one way; the drive down takes over four hours and we do get to enjoy a good bit of banter on the way, as well as a tasty breakfast at a great truck stop.
It’s bad news in every other way.
1) I will miss her.
2) Everyone else will miss her.
3) M will miss her most of all.
Actually that last one might not be entirely true but it is the one that worries me the most. M cannot seem to process the change that E not living here means. She is a bright girl, very bright in fact, and while she can understand on an academic level that from mid September to some time in December her oldest sibling will be living in Glasgow, on an emotional and gut level the messages aren’t getting through. I know she loves her dearly and is usually content to be left in E’s care if I need to pop out, but I think the real problem is that something has changed.
She knows that R goes to boarding school every Sunday and returns every Friday. That has been happening for so long that it is written into her coding somehow as “usual”. E going to university just isn’t. I mistakenly assumed that last January would be easier on M than the September had been, as she would realise that we were all speaking the truth when we said E would come home for a holiday, but in fact every time E departed the behaviours were worse than before.
So, my concerns that next week could be very tough indeed after a three month summer break are, I feel, well founded.
I just hope I’m wrong.