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Empty Nest

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
edited September 2016 in Totally Not Guitars
That's it. The twins have gone to university. One to Leeds, the other Southampton. The Leeds twin wasn't so bad. He's a confident young man and his digs (and the students sharing) were really nice. The second lad not so good. He's very quiet and of slight build. Though very bright he needs to be cajoled quite a bit to get him out of his room*. His digs are pretty grim. We turned up there and right outside was a big Drum 'n' Bass rig and a load of well built second year, rugger-bugger alpha males. I'm sure all are nice but I just can't see my lad fitting in. It's a worry.

I could see what little there is of my boy's self confidence just ebb away. It was hard to leave him. We made up his room and left him with supplies for a few weeks but still, it I was like leaving an innocent choirboy at an open prison. I gave him a few words of encouragement, a hug and a book called The Rules of Life which I think might help.

It's make or break time - for both parents and child. It's difficult to see both go at once.

So now home is rather empty and it's hard to walk past their bare rooms. A cold silence has befallen the place and wifey is bereft. I arranged some flowers to be sent to her workplace today and had to write the order for fear I'd blub.

Gawd knows what it must have been like parents sending their boys to war !

*He's a qualified dinghy instructor and safety boat driver, so we're hoping he'll fit in at the university sailing club.

Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,690Member
    I'd bet on both of them doing OK Kevin - I can remember going off to study at Leeds myself some 30-ish years ago, and I was closer to the description of your second lad than anything - bit of an introvert really, still am for that matter. But despite being utterly clueless about a lot of things, and making the inevitable errors, and all that, I still coped in the end, and found a circle of friends, and did alright. Takes time to settle in and start to figure out what the hell is going on, but he'll be fine I'd say. Hope you and the missus learn to adjust to the changed circumstances too, and that things won't seem so empty given time.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 788Member
    Kevin I'm sure both will do OK. They will find like minded people doing things they too enjoy. Soon they will be too busy to come home except for washing services. ;-)
  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Leeds is a GREAT city and he'll find plenty of like-minded souls there, Kev. Just you wait, he'll be super excited about it soon and won't want to come home.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    edited September 2016
    Thanks all. I left home at 21, but a very young 21. I went into digs of a sort - a police section house. If you've ever seen Life on Mars it was like that. Gnarly, 30-year-old coppers from all departments, some rebounding into the force accommodation after divorces, all very intimidating until they moved out a year later or so and people more like me moved in - then I loved it.

    Graduate friends of mine said the atmosphere was very like halls of residence then. Unlike university life I had plenty of money but lots of job responsibility to go with it. The lads will have little money but no responsibility for a while at least. And like me, I tell them they will be fine in the end when they find their own group.

    The Leeds lad is loving it. It's the Southampton one who I think is quite socially awkward.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,180Member
    It's all very difficult Kevin - I can understand how you feel, and to have two going at once is an added kick to the emotions that we thankfully missed out on.

    On the plus side with e-mails, facebook, mobile phones etc it's easier to keep a decent contact going if times go through rocky spells.

    I recognise that description of digs being pretty grim, though oddly enough our son that had the pretty grim digs enjoyed those more than what appeared to be the better quality ones he moved into in his second year.

    I find it very difficult to understand how more affluent parents can happily send their kids off to boarding school at such early ages.

    Hope all goes well for the twins and that you and your wife find that the melancholy and impact of empty rooms and empty seats at meal times ease and reduce over time.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    Do you know, we were just saying that about boarding schools a minute ago ?
  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member

    Thanks all. I left home at 21, but a very young 21. I went into digs of a sort - a police section house. If you've ever seen Life on Mars it was like that. Gnarly, 30-year-old coppers from all departments, some rebounding into the force accommodation after divorces, all very intimidating until they moved out a year later or so and people more like me moved in - then I loved it.

    Graduate friends of mine said the atmosphere was very like halls of residence then. Unlike university life I had plenty of money but lots of job responsibility to go with it. The lads will have little money but no responsibility for a while at least. And like me, I tell them they will be fine in the end when they find their own group.

    The Leeds lad is loving it. It's the Southampton one who I think is quite socially awkward.

    Oops, sorry, I got my sons mixed up, Kev. It still applies that there will be plenty of like-minded students there that he can connect with.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    Thanks, 23rd. They ARE twins and even I mix them up !
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 749Member
    My oldest has just gone off to study at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford. Getting him to eat properly will be the difficulty with him. That and not spending all his student loan on Jack Daniels in the first six weeks.

    His house isn't too bad, but it's a long way out of the town centre, so at least he'll get fit!

    It's a worry though, isn't it. I look back and think of myself as being so worldly-wise when I went away to university (Southampton, funnily enough) but I was probably a bit of a nob as well ...
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    The invincibility of youth. Well. We've set them on their way. Only they can do it now.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    edited November 2016
    We visited Sam at med school yesterday. Juno, the dog, is something of a celebrity at Devonshire Halls so we took him with us. (six hours by train - very good boy.)

    We had a wonderful renunion and met many of his friends there. The dog was a real hit. Sam's friends/fellow students (nearly all of whom are young ladies of Asian persuasion) are all adorable. Brains on legs. All were very very sweet and unassuming despite their cleverness and were utterly besotted with the dog.

  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,180Member
    It's good to hear a positive follow up to this. It must help to make you feel happier about the situation. :smiley:

    Your dog sounds like a very good boy indeed - I think only about 6 minutes on a train with ours would leave me totally demented!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    He just lay between us all the way.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 749Member
    I've never tried taking our dog, Frodo, on a train. He's pretty good in the car, but no idea how he'd be on a train. He's a bit enthusiastic so I can see him wanting to go and get acquainted with everyone who got on the train
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 788Member
    edited December 2016
    I expect the twins are coming home for Christmas, that peace and quite you've become accustomed to is about to be shatterred. They will have developed as young adults too and will want to flex their new found confidence.
    Have a happy break Kevin and enjoy the family.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,180Member
    Had our two sons back in the nest tonight, and wife and self are exhausted after all the chat and conviviality!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    ES - Thank you ! I was unable to get access to this blog for a while. Yes. They have both changed for the better.

    Mark - Glad to hear it. My boys have been back for over a week.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,695Member
    Happy (belated) Christmas everyone !
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,690Member
    Happy belated Christmas to yourself KP! :)
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,180Member
    Belated Christmas greeting to you too Kevin. :smile:

    The offspring are away again - it took over 24 hours to get used to being back to what is now normal. But most enjoyable.

    Good to hear what you say about changed for the better Kevin - we noticed the same with ours too ... probably escaping from us was good for them.
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