I was about to have a major pity party for myself after saying goodbye to my Firstborn who returned to his job in the UK after three blissful weeks here at home. But as I was weeping and wailing and gnashing my teeth, my phone rang:
- Husband: he’s left his ipad somewhere
- Firstborn: think it might be under the duvet.
- Husband: we’re on our way home.
The husband speaking through gritted teeth made me larf because it was an action replay of so many events in the Firstborn’s life where electronic equipment, sports’ kit and books were left at home on numerous occasions and had to be rushed to school. Unfortunately, he has inherited my absentmindedness when it comes to putting things down in safe places. Places so safe, not even we can remember where they are. Ja.
Aside: why was I not going to the airport with them? Because I am not allowed, apparently it makes the kids too sad.
The problem with saying goodbye to your children now is that they’re actually nice people that you want to have around. This was not the case when they were teenagers and you welcomed a break from the cheek and the eyerolling and being treated like a walking ATM.
The Firstborn in his last six months of working overseas has been transformed into this independent, sensitive, considerate person. A person, in other words, that you wish would just stay a bit longer or perhaps who lived just around the corner so that you could spend more time with him.
But alas, this is not the case, and we have to embrace our new lives as empty nesters.
There are pluses. We are getting a little taste of it now whilst the Lastborn is in Zimbabwe and will have a bigger experience when she goes to university at the end of January.
- No one has used all the coffee pods
- Ditto for all the towels and loo paper
- The house looks clean
- We no longer feel like we’re running a spectacularly unprofitable boutique hotel
- No one is drinking all the champagne/gin/tequila
- The house is so quiet
- The house is so quiet
- The cats are in mourning
- There is no reason to drink champagne
It is weird to not have children to run around after. I am at this point very grateful for work which keeps my mind off the fact that MY CHILDREN HAVE LEFT ME. Although I was less grateful when I got a series of emails and messages during my break from two of the shows I work on.
Me: I AM ON A F*CKING BREAK!! Why are they messaging me?
I got so IRATE because of all of this that I thought I was having a heart attack. But I soon worked out that my extreme reaction had less to do with work and more to do with the fact that my kids were leaving, and I had a touch of the sads.
The other upsetting thing was that La Nina was having her final hurrah (bloody biatch) and it pissed with rain almost constantly (although naturally now that everyone is back at work, we’re having a heatwave. Grr). I found myself apologising to overseas guests for the crap weather and bleating ‘it’s not usually like this.’ Unfortunately, we have had three years of this and I for one am now ready for a break from it. It’s especially noticeable when you don’t go away. I lie, we did have one night away.
The Firstborn kicked us out of the house for New Year’s Eve because he was having friends around and so we went and stayed at Voco Hotel in Rosebank. We watched The Fabelmans in the afternoon at Cinema Nouveau, had a lovely dinner at Proud Mary that night and I was asleep by 10.30pm – the perfect NYE for me.
Also, because we weren’t at the house, I couldn’t just put a load of washing on or check some emails.
After a lovely brekkers (although shem the waitress did get the order wrong), we headed to Woolies (obvs) and then home to find a sparkling house which the Firstborn had cleaned up after his friends had departed. Who is this child who cleans up after himself? I wondered.
After both kids had headed off, I chopped all my hair off in protest. I tried to do it on NYE but had no luck getting an appointment and so popped into The Salon in Tyrone Avenue on the 3rd where the lovely Thandeka gave me what I think is a rather fabulous pixie cut. It was a bit gulp-making watching that plait being cut off, but again there are so many pluses to having short hair and I’m really starting to enjoy it. The last time I had short hair was in 2013 so it was definitely time. And the good news – I have a long plait to send to the cancer society who makes wigs for chemotherapy patients who have lost their hair.
The Fabelmans is interesting but too long, I needed to pee so badly by the end of it, my eyes were watering. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Stephen Spielberg’s dad was a computer genius, and his mother a talented musician, seems like those genes combined to produce a different kind of genius.
I received Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries as a Christmas pressie from the Lastborn. I basically stayed in bed the whole day reading it.
- Fam: you’ve finished it already?!!
- Me: yes, yes, I’m afraid that I have.
Fascinating book but I did feel like there were gaps I wanted filled in. Yes, I know the man is no longer with us, but more context to some of the entries would’ve been great. I guess I just wanted more.
What I did love is that director, Janice Honeyman got a mention. I didn’t realise Alan spent so many holidays in Pringle Bay and really loved SA.
And as for New Year’s resolutions, I have three. Actually, I only had two, but I was once given the note to mention things three times in scripts so here goes:
- Always assume people are doing the best they can. Yes, even those who are sending you emails when you’re on holiday.
- Chasing things whether it be a person or a job or an opportunity never works. Allow things to flow.
- Get off Tiktok and read.
Happy 2023, and happy reading! xxx