Another major life change is looming in our near future. On Tuesday next week Elliot & Abigail will move into their new school in the UK, as full boarders. It sounds strange to me even as I write the words, it's so hard to imagine day-to-day life without them.
It is undoubtedly the best thing for them: a very good, private school in England that will not only give them the best education but will also give them some more consistency in their social lives. It will mean that, wherever Karen and I are sent to next, they can continue their education and network of friends uninterrupted. I also think it will be great for their self-confidence; not that our two were ever wanting in that area.
No, the people who will be hit hardest are Karen and me. It feels like I'm getting old before my time. The offspring shouldn't be flying the nest this early. I suppose they're not really, but it will feel like it. What will we do left on our own all of a sudden, after sixteen years of having kids in the house? Perhaps we'll grow to enjoy our new-found freedom: partying til the wee small hours, playing loud music, crawling out of bed at 11am with a hangover... Hold on, we do that already!
I just know the next eight days are going to fly by. We travel to London on Thursday so before then we'll be busy with preparations: packing, trying to stop them taking too much with them, dealing with school paperwork, planning a uniform-shopping frenzy, opening bank accounts, buying mobile phone sim cards, arranging to meet up with friends when we get there.
They'll be taking their own laptops with them, and will have to get used to the school's regulated internet access: no more MSN Messenger for example. Elliot has SUSE Linux on his, and Windows XP in a VMware virtual machine (sorry to get technical). I wish both him and the Systems Administrator the best of luck trying to troubleshoot that lot. He keeps me busy and I do that stuff for a living.
The other slight pothole in the road is that, days after taking delivery of Elliot's new, dry-clean-only suits from Sapphire Tailors, we receive a letter from the school saying the all items of clothing must be machine-washable and tumble-dryable.