Most of you know that I have twin daughters. Double the trouble, double the joy, is what they say, and it is very true. I can honestly say that I am proud of both of my daughters and in different ways.
My girls are what are known as ‘mirror twins’. Everything is opposite. From their hair partings, to their attitudes, even the hand they write with. Their personalities couldn’t be more different. This is a good thing. They have each other’s back when needed, yet aren’t cliquey and have their own friendship groups.
The longest the girls have been apart is around 10 days, when one went on holiday with family and the other stayed home, but that is all about to change…
Little Chick (obviously not her real name) is about to fly the nest. She has managed to secure a place at Winchester University to study Psychology. She fell in love with the University several months ago, desperately wanted to go there and her wish came true!
Her sister is, rightly, very proud of her, as we all are; but I don’t think the reality of the move has quite sunk in yet. The jokes about extra helpings, more room in the house, no-one hogging the bathroom and missing clothes/make-up have kept us all amused; but the closer the move becomes, the less the jokes are happening.
The offer of care packages and baked bean/vodka deliveries have started. The discussions on borrowing money, being careful and the safety lectures have started, and that’s just the ones from her sister!
Now, Winchester is about a 3 hour drive from us, on a good day. Far enough to be independent, yet not the other side of the world, but it might as well be.
Whilst I am as proud as punch of her, I am not yet ready to let her take to the skies. She is too young, too trusting, too flighty and too wonderful to leave me yet. It seems like only yesterday that she was learning to crawl, learning to tell the time (she still struggles) and now she is packing up, leaving home and taking half the contents of our cupboards AND electrical items with her.
She has never had to look after herself before, and this transition may be a little difficult for her. However, it is one that lots of people have to go through. Cooking, cleaning, running her life and managing her own finances will be a novel learning experience for her, and one I know she will take to like a duck to water.
She is the most capable of girls, who can usually talk her way out of trouble, getting assistance by asking nicely and generally organising herself with lists and plans, so I have no doubt that she will cope.
The question is…will I?
University, for many, is the first time that they have had to be independent, look after themselves and learn to be responsible. Whilst I’d love to think that she will be spending her nights in, hunched over books, deep in study, I know that equally she will be out living the student life, socialising and having fun, and that is how it should be.
However, I have to try and cast that thought aside. I worry about her when she is out on the town close to home, and spend many Saturday nights waiting up until gone 5am, until I hear her come in and I can finally settle down. I can’t do that when she is so far away from me.
So it has to become almost ‘out of sight, out of mind’. If I sit and think about what she is doing, where she is, who she is with, then that will A) drive ME mental, and B) driver HER mental with my constant texts and questions.
She needs to be able to go out there, laugh, live, dance, sing, have fun, enjoy the adventure and try new things. Experience everything that University life has to offer.
Letting those reins go and moving her into her new place is the next step in my life, too. I understand that she is now an adult, and has her own potential to fulfill. She needs to go out there, spread her wings and fly.
And I have to let her go. For her sake, even if not for mine.