When we plan, plot, support and hope for our children, whilst still at school intending to go on to university, it is a moment long into the future.
A rite of passage for them. For parents too.
Buying things together for their room in halls, Stationary. New duvet and cover. posters, prints. Books, More books.
Anticipation. Nerves. Tears.
Loading up the car. Will it all fit. Two trips perhaps?
Today my daughter and first born, woke with mixed emotions. Today was the day.
I loaded the car. Packed to the rafters. My tummy flipped. Told myself to get a grip. Lit a fag. Rolled down the window. Choked back a tear. Turned of the radio. Silence. Just my exhaling.
I arrived at my destination. Unpacked the car. Parked up. Walked into the hall and began to set up my stall.
Every moment that passed, every second, whilst I busied myself with my procrastinations; I was aware my daughter would shortly be arriving at University of Leeds Trinity and would be unpacking the car with her father, 89 miles away. I had planned and plotted for her, but I was not a party to her plans this past year.
Never take these moments for granted. They aren't a given. We have had many shared moments together. I should be grateful. I wanted to be there.
I spoke to her this evening and she seems happy enough. Homesick already, as the reality sinks in she won't be home (hers not mine) again until December. Reality bites.
For me it bites hard. People ask me why I stayed so long. I say because I didn't want to miss a thing.
What next the graduation? Will I be asked? It's not a given. Time will tell.
This time next year it will be my son's turn to leave for Uni.
Take nothing for granted.