Four years ago to the day we returned from having driven Miss Lashes to her new abode. She had left home and was postponing her gap year to go and volunteer with Soul Survivor church in Watford, with something called Soul 61.
As much as I love Orkney, driving from here to London was an epic undertaking. Orkney Beef has never driven anywhere south of Inverness and while I’ve clocked up a gazillion miles on motorways and city traffic; I was significantly out of practice and felt like I’d lost my edge.
Orkney has no traffic lights apart from tempory ones from time to time. There very few roundabouts, and certainly none with lanes. There are no motorways or dual carriageways and no edging down the road in 1st gear, bumper to bumper with someone ready to jump out and clean your windscreen for a few quid if you were unlucky enough to have the lights turn red in front of them. This is an example of the kind of delays we have on our local roads.
So driving ‘South’ was a bit daunting, but we made it.
That said, with all my nerves and being out of practice driving on busy never ending roads south of Orkney, it was a breeze compared to leaving my first born somewhere and driving back without her. Was she going to be ok? would she make good choices? Would she remember everything I had
nagged about told her over the years?
It was a big adjustment. From the age of 6 until she was 17 I had raised Miss Lashes and Tech Support on my own and we were a strong little family unit. By the time she left I’d been married to Orkney Beef for a year and the whole dynamics of family life were set to permanently change. I can still picture myself now going into her empty bedroom when we got back to Orkney and crying. As I think about it I still feel sad and have a lump in my throat. But it’s life and after a few weeks we found a new normal. A couple more years and it will be Tech Support leaving home and I will be crying again wondering where life goes and how quickly time passes. I’ll be nostalgic and wistful and continue to worry if he’s going to be ok and make good choices. But like every parent who waves their child off to pastures new, I will find a way of coping, always be on the end of the phone, and embrace the new season.
Here is my Facebook status from when we had returned from our 13 hundred mile round trip all summed up in a few words.
Oh and ps. She did ok!