29 May 2005

Two boys and several girls

Our eldest son used to smile and bounce and chuckle while his dad was crashed out.

The baby above left home today. He has moved into a rented bungalow with his fiancée. All day they ferried possessions in boxes, peeling his life away from here. From the sidelines we watched as he sliced off chunks of his existence and put them in his car.

These two make a great pair and we wish them happiness. But events like this are tinged with sadness because they represent the end of a long period of dependence and life as a family. They will need to work out their way of living together and coping with the trials life brings. Over time they will uncover the people they really are.

Buying a first house is now almost impossible, the cheapest one-bedroom apartment here will cost over $250,000. Just as well I bought our current house ages ago, prices have outstripped incomes by a mile. Twenty five years ago I borrowed three times my annual salary, now that factor would have to be fifteen times! Almost unbelievable isn’t it? So today the young people rent while they wait for their inheritance.

The new breakaway family already has a head start, family and friends have generously chipped in, helping with all the necessary furniture, appliances and utensils. It’s up to the youngsters now to make a home of it.

I watched him grow from defenceless baby to 6 foot 3” adult in twenty three rapid years, then he’s gone. But I should not complain, I did just the same. I look forward to seeing my boy put into practice the skills he learned observing his mum and me. Cheer up though, I am sure we will see them often. They are only three miles away after all! This weekend it’s our twenty seventh wedding anniversary so we all meet up again Sunday for a meal out. (There is a saying about good behaviour shortening a life sentence. Maybe it illustrates why I haven’t been let out yet).

As for our younger son, he knows he’s well off at home so we still have his outrageous antics for entertainment. He is a funny, exciting, enthusiastic and optimistic guy. Most evenings a different car pulls up full of giggling young women to whisk him away to God knows where but he always comes home. The girls love his company and he has an army of great friends. He lives a full, fast life and tells us he loves us. He reminds me a lot of me when I was young. I’d rather he didn’t leave home yet, I’m not ready for that silence.

“Who do girls like, they’re boys.
Always should be someone you really love.”

Blur - Girls and Boys


doughgirl said...


Congratulations to you for 27 yrs of marriage and to your son on his engagement.

The silence of empty home...ohhh godness. When the girls are gone every other weekend, the first day I am relaxed and happy and by the next morning, I don't know what to do with myself...I used to all the hub ub going on aroud here...remember though..we always come home :)

Dionysius said...

So glad to know they did not have to go to the unnecessary war of our times in Iraq. Raising these little ones is, like many things in life, a bittersweet experience.

Wardo said...

That's interesting, I had to move this weekend too.

I have no children yet, but I can understand your feelings. Here's this person you love, they live with you for 23 years and it seems like they'll always be there...and suddenly they're not. The day has arrived when nothing will ever be the same. It's another milestone in your life, and mirrors your own example, like you said - you did the same thing.

I don't know if it helps you any, but since I moved out of my parent's place a few years ago, the visits home have always, always been great - because I know my time is short, and I take nothing for granted.


Perfect Virgo said...

Doughgirl - thanks for your kind thoughts, I hope the meal is good I'm starving!. I think we will see them often, I'm sure we will. It's just that the half-empty nest has a rather hollow ring to it. I thought you would understand about that unwelcome silence.

By the way, I am new to the Messenger game so bear with me while I practice!!

Dionysius - thankfully we have no conscription here and the boys are not militarily minded. I feel for my work colleagues who have loved ones serving in the armed forces.

Yes, bittersweet about nails it.

Argus - it's a milestone as you rightly say. I wear my emotions quite openly and times like this are very sad precisely because things can never be quite the same again.

Yes it does help, I have a close bond with both my sons and I know we will make full use of the time we spend together. I've blogged before about regrets over my own bland, loveless childhood - it bears repeating though, I won't let it happen in this generation. I'll always be best friends with my boys.

RuKsaK said...

My daughter is just three, so no need to think about these things yet - although a list of how to intimidate boyfriends is under construction. Anyway, despite her being-threeness I was very moved by this - you're obviously a great dad.

PS - the price of houses in the UK terrifies me.

Perfect Virgo said...

Ruk - enjoy all your time with her it will pass in the blink of an eye. The secret is to grow with them and keep pace with their interests, that way you have loads in common.

I go to gigs with the boys to see their favourites. Younger son is coming with me to a tiny dingy venue in Southampton tomorrow to see Ian Hunter (of 1970s 'Mott the Hoople.') We know it'll be good, seen him many times!

Rip-off Britain... 3 bedroom detached house $450,000 (£250,000.) If I hadn't bought when I did, there would be no hope now.

recoveryroad said...

That was a lovely post PV, even though there was some sadness in there. And maybe even a wee bit of regret? But above all else, there was lots and lots of warmth coming through, loud and clear.


Cocaine Jesus said...

Rip-off is right. Thumbscrew, my eldest, has been looking to buy her self a small place Maybe two beds. Nothing grand. 150,000 to 200,000 pounds! Bloody joke.

My youngest is now thirteen and at the risk of sounding like my Mother, 'where have all those years gone?'

Perfect Virgo said...

Kenny - yes heaps of sadness and some regrets for the 'end of an era,' but lots of pride too. I keep telling myself they haven't emigrated.

Cocaine Jesus - those years went into the pages of diaries, photo albums and scrapbooks. I'm as misty-eyed as ever here! I hope his younger brother stays longer. I hope that selfishly for me, but he's free to go whenever.

Youngsters have little chance in our housing market and even the value of our own houses is almost irrelevant as we have to have somewhere to live ourselves!

I sound like my old mum now too! (God rest her.)

Wardo said...

If I was a travelling man with no family in Canada, I would get a job in the UK.

Why? Because I'm just about 100% English descent, so it would feel like going home.

But also - for some reason, over there everything costs the same amount in pounds that they do in Canada in dollars - 50 pounds for a pair of pants over there equals about 50 bucks here.

But the thing is, a pound is worth about 2.5 times our dollar...so I'd work over there, accumulate a little nest egg, and come to Canada and live like a king.


Perfect Virgo said...

Argus - our crazy prices here are killing us. We holiday in Florida when we can and I love the exchange rate against the US dollar, we stock up on jeans and trainers at giveaway prices! I guess the Canadian exchange rate sounds even better.

I hope you get to make that nest egg! We develop all sorts of strategies here to try and make our money go farther but it's not easy.

jey said...

pardon me for crashing...

and yes, congratulations to you and your family.:)

transience said...

things like regret and simple joys go hand in hand in everything we do. i'm glad you can strike a balance. except for those sky-high prices.

Perfect Virgo said...

Jey -you're welcome. Thanks for the thought.

Transience - I agree about the mixed emotions and I also think it's only the most sensitive among us who truly experience both emotions fully and unreservedly. The price of life is indeed high.

The Flea said...

Heart-wrenching stuff Virgo. And without being corny or over the top (which is a difficult task).

To think, I just turned 27 while you're on your 27th anniversary.

Frightening how fast life flutters by. And it's even worse that I'm already thinking this at such a young age.

Perfect Virgo said...

Flea - I was already having the same thoughts as you at 27, now I'm 47 I have them just the same. Marvell used the phrase "Time's winged chariot," circa 300 years ago. Yes, time sure flies...

I think we could write some interesting words about time (nor would we be the first!)

The Flea said...

No doubt there. And we wouldn't be the last either.

Jen said...

Transitions are both exciting and stressful, aren't they?

By the way...that photo is hot. :-) I had to say it.

Perfect Virgo said...

Jen - stressful is right. I need to learn to live without him and that's hard. He always was a cute little boy. I dug the photo out of an old album, it's a generation old so now he looks like the guy on the right!! Spooky.

Faith said...

Oh, the day Sydney leaves the nest...I won't be able to handle it. It will awful. The tears, the hugs...


I'll be waving insanely, whispering to the already half naked man behind the door, "She's almost gone, she's almost gone."

Happy Anniversary to you, and Happy Engagement to your son!!

Perfect Virgo said...

Faith - yes the parting could go either way! On balance I think it will veer towards awful, sad but in a kappy way. But like my son hopefully she will not go too far.

Thanks for your kind wishes, I think I'm struggling with too many big events all at once. I could do with some down time.