Yesterday, on a dreary wet and windy day we dropped off our eldest son and his girlfriend at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 for the start of his long-awaited trip around Asia. Their first leg is a 10-hour flight to Sri Lanka. To any other mother that would be “Yeay, that’s wonderful; going for a year, nah make it 2, why get trapped in this crazy dog-eat-dog world of work till you drop and then you DIE!” Me, I’m forever thinking of all the possible negatives like natural disasters, natural born killers, being dopey and not looking when you cross the road, forgetting which side of the road they drive – well, this crazy lady can list her concerns until 2017 at least! Knowing my crazy ways I took it upon myself to read plenty of self-help, positive thinking mantras and statements, one of which was fantastic; “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.“ Elephant Meditation
Of course, that’s perfectly true, so I set myself the task of remaining positive for the entire week leading up to their departure, yet still with a head overloaded with worries. I constantly reminded myself that I should not waste this precious time and talk, laugh and have fun with my son; abandon all thoughts of worry and stop behaving like madam grouch just because I cannot control and manage my emotions. All went swimmingly till the morning of his departure! I woke and vacuumed, dusted, mopped, cleared, cleaned windows and carefully packed away all Joshua’s things knowing on return from the airport anything left out belonging to him would set me off again! So, as you can imagine the house was immaculate and I can assure you I am far away as can be from a domestic house-proud goddess, but what was most satisfying was that it was actually noticed by both my untidy sons. So, maybe there is a little ounce of wisdom in my madness!
The toughest realisation during this spring clean in March was seeing the many things that has prompted a slight frustrated banter between the two of us, like bananas for example. Between his smoothies and his close connection to the ape world he truly knows how to get through them. My only request was “please leave a few of the organic bananas for me!”, but more often than not there were none. Today there are 18 bananas all going brown and now I berate myself for asking him to be thoughtful to others. Did he sacrifice just for me or did he just go off his pure and godly diet with the knowing that for the next year he will be consuming many curries and experimenting with all kinds of unchartered cuisine! Another bane were computer plugs; he’s always unplugging my laptop and lamps; shoes and clothes are always strewn all over the house; towels chucked in the dirty washing, but more often just left to rot in his room; devouring my organic dates, dry roasted nuts, soreen . . . the list goes on, but now that he is not here and on reflection I realise that his wonderful sweet ways, his warmth and kindness far outweighs these silly frustrations – these little quirky traits are simply what makes him the special person that he is.
As I write this I am impatiently waiting to hear from them via Skype, FaceTime or email that they have reached their hostel in Colombo – I just cannot wait!