Sunday, 8 July 2012

Preparing To Fly The Nest

In many ways our sixteen year old daughter is still very young, she is physically slight and her devotion to Harry Potter has not yet waned. Attending an all-girls school has meant a lack of contact with boys ( until recently) and whilst some other girls in her year are out at parties and clubs, her group of friends seem to prefer a meal at Nando's followed by a ride on the Trafford Centre dodgems.
However, the times are a-changing. Subtly, the signs of a growing independence are there and in only two years time, A level grades permitting, she will be flying the nest. Recently she had her "Prom" and as she tried on various frocks, I saw her transformed into a "young lady", although the sheer bloody agony of choosing a dress did eventually knock any sentimentality out of my system. After the Prom, she went to an "after-party" and she and her friends have since met up regularly with a group of boys they shared a table with at the Prom. My half-Italian husband's boy antennae are twitching alarmingly. Bel has also recently got a part-time job in that den of darkness that is Hollister, one more step on the road to adulthood.
I do not like the expression, "empty-nest syndrome", life is a series of milestones, some unexpected, you adapt and you march on. Bel is our only child and recently I have been wondering what life will be like in a couple of years. I have been an "at home" mum since she was born, what will my role be when there is no one at home for me to be a mum to? I have a couple of projects in mind, my days are always full and I would hope I won't find it too strange. However, sometimes I glance at her and see a flash of the young woman she is turning into, and my heart momentarily aches. I am excited for her, on the cusp of adulthood and whatever the future holds. I know life can be hard too, all you want to do is to protect your child from harm, heart-break and penury. So off you go, Isobel, spread your wings but know that we are always here and the nest will be kept warm for you whenever you decide to return.

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