|Waiting to leave|
We've been consumed by sadness all week after the devastating loss of a friend's son. A lovely 20 year-old young man in his prime with so much to live for. Life can sometimes be inexplicable.
It has also been a hard week: The AC has stopped working in the bakery, the truck has broken down again and brown matter continues to rain down on us. This is all further enlivened by the brutal summer heat. I saw someone talking about 45C temperatures and even if this is not quite accurate, it certainly feels like it. Put simply, life feels a bit like Purgatory right now.
Amidst this, James left for his 2.5 month travels on Wednesday. In some ways it was good to put him on a plane because he's off on a fantastic adventure, but I felt psychically ill as I watched him walk through Customs. He arrived safely in Ireland of course and we'll all soon adjust to the new order, but it felt like going against the laws of nature there for a while.
I've never given too much thought about whether we are "good parents" or not. I'm not sure how one benchmarks such a statement. Nobody sets out to be bad parents, do they? The term is actually ridiculous. We all want to be normal and for our kids to be happy. We all want to provide the best for our children. We all try to protect our kids from how messy and less then perfect life is most of the time. We all try to inspire that only hard-work and discipline make for success, and even then there are no guarantees (as I can personally attest to this week). We all battle with the 'generation-gap'. We're all distracted.
I suppose the first time you start letting your children go, is the first time you start fearing about the future. You have a good look around you and it feels like the forest in the Gruffalo - monsters behind every bush. You do a mental check-list with yourself that you have prepared the child enough for the big, bad world out there. You look at your child for the first time as the world sees him. You worry that you havn't done enough or too much or of the wrong thing. You worry that they will be frightened or lonely. That they will not be able to manage.
I hope James stays safe and is hungry to learn and has an extraordinary time. I hope he does amazing things. I hope we've given him enough to help him on his way.
I hope there is a heaven and I hope Michael goes there. I hope he also has a good journey and that he finds peace.