Really feel for you Annabel, with your youngest son being 6,075 miles away trying new life experiences (hopefully not hallucinogenic ones). Although, I thought the story he told you about drinking a White Lady at very high altitude (which apparently makes you hilariously tipsy) was just about the right level of experimentation – well, the boy’s got to have some fun. As you know, my son is also abroad. The other day he blithely told me he’d been in a French bar drinking “la fée verte” (the green fairy or absinthe as it is better known) and remained blase when I told him it was brainrot and was banned from 1915 until 2005. Why it is no longer considered a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and is legal again is beyond me. Anyhow, I need to relax and remember all those naughty things I got up to at his age – life is for living.
When son and I hugged goodbye at the airport almost a month ago, a tear leaked out of my eye despite my best efforts and my heart was pounding because I knew I might not see him for a year or more. As it turns out, he is a communicator and so I haven’t really worried too much as he often texts, phones or Skypes – much to my relief.
But gosh I miss him. He is such fun to be around. Often smiling, always helpful and a giver of huge long hugs. And he makes me laugh…. once, after our lunch guests had (finally) left, I plonked, exhausted, on a sofa. Son came and sat down with me, stared at my face for a while and said reflectively “Ma, your skin is super soft – and a bit loose” (am definitely booking a consultation with a plastic surgeon now!)
Anyhow, better stop talking about him otherwise my eyes will start leaking again. And I don’t want you all to think I am a soppy mother. Of course, our children have to fly the nest and learn about life outside the protective envelope they call home. And I really want him to experience lots of things and see other parts of the world – just want him to be safe. But I am not fretting unnecessarily – at the end of our last Skype, he told me he had been “jumped” at 2.30am that morning. “Jumped” I gasped “Do you mean mugged?”. “Yeah” he replied calmly “what an idiot. He was about half my size, came up to me and asked me something in French. I bopped him on the nose and ran for it.” At this juncture, he showed me a close up of his right hand and grazed knuckles. “But perhaps he was asking you for a light or directions?” I asked, thinking my son might be wanted by the gendarmerie for assault. “Don’t know Mum, I don’t speak French. And he was wearing a black balaclava.”