It kinda hit tonight.
In the past few days, I’ve been in a haze of busyness, running around and putting everything movable into large boxes, readying them for the move to Guildford. Plans (well, “ideas” at any rate) have been formed for the first few days in our new house, and companies have been informed of the new address. All, in short, is sorted, and tomorrow is the big day.
But as I look around me tonight – at all my worldly possessions, piled high and battling to escape from their cardboard prisons – it’s suddenly sunk in. I’m leaving behind my formative years with my parents – the happy childhood, the uninhibited teenage years and the challenging responsibility of the last half-decade. No longer will my mother wish me goodnight, hoping “that the bugs don’t bite”. No longer will I see my dad come home full of the joys of life, making us laugh despite the rocky road life has dealt him and my mum in recent times. Never again will my mother be able to fuss over and protect me – and never again will my dad try his best to show me the way of life over a lavish meal cooked as only my mother can.
These and many, many others, are the things I shall miss. But I have a load of memories of life growing up. I distinctly remember one Christmas Eve, I was eagerly waiting for Santa to appear. My mum had helped me fill the sherry glasses by the chimney (for some reason, Santa needed a lot of sherry) and I had crept into bed, losing the will to stay awake a few minutes later. The morning came, and miraculously the huge Christmas stocking was by the end of the bed, full of presents. I woke my parents up and rushed downstairs to find something that made me more excited than ever – several perfect snowy footprints leading from the chimney to the stairs, all expertly formed and evidently from Santa’s snowy foot. Although I now know the effort dad had gone to the create the perfect Christmas – the snow was in fact polystyrene, can you believe – the moment made that and many further Christmasses all the more real and magical for me.
Another time, I was looking for a cricket ball and my dad had an idea. He had won a special cricket ball at his school, which had been given for some magnificent cricketing feat and he was very proud of it, keeping it up until that day. And yet here he was, prising off the plaque commemorating his great feat – just so that his son could play cricket for the day.
And all the while, in amongst these many amazing memories of my dad, I have countless wonderful memories of my mother, comforting and caring, being the mum she was born to be, while my dad was out earning a crust. She managed to have an in-built common sense that allowed me to always be looked after and sent in the right direction. After I left home for the first time to go to boarding school, she cried for three days, wishing I could come home but knowing it was for the best. Even to this day, it seems as if she has so much love to give, but not enough time to give it. She really was born to be a mother, and I couldn’t have wished for more.
I suppose all children think that their parents are the best in the world – but despite the ups and the downs, I can safely say that my parents, to me, are the best in the world. There are so many more memories that I could describe, but I’d be here for a goodly while. I know that they have always done their best for me, put me first, worried, comforted and helped – even if as a rebellious teenager I couldn’t always see it.
So this post is for my parents. Thank you both for everything. I know that in moving away to an exciting new stage in my life things will be different – but I shall always be there to help, as you have helped me.
And, let’s face it, I’ll only be 26 miles down the road…