I have a confession...
I never wanted children.
Now I have two, they were no accident either, my biological clock started ticking and I got all broody. Weird, but true.
Ben and Jas are 15 and 11 next week* and my little babies are growing up, and it doesn't seem to get easier, it's just that the challenges change.
What's confusing me at the moment is letting go. For the last 15 years I have known Ben's (almost) every move. I see him at breakfast, greet him as he comes home at lunchtime (this is, afterall, Germany, the land of the half day of schooling), interrogate him about what he's been up to in school etc. etc.
Then he went off on a school trip to Margate (the German kids weren't impressed, I think Margate is past it's sell by date) and apart from a few texts during the week I had no idea what Ben was doing, what he was eating, how he was sleeping, if he was wearing his brace at night...it was hideous.
He was supposed to be on a French exchange this week but pulled out due to work pressure at school** and although I wish he were going, because it is a great opportunity to experience French life in the bosom of a French family, part of me is glad that he's not going, I missed him when he wasn't here (despite that fact that when he is here I hardly see him) so to have him here this week is an added bonus***.
All this is rather worrying though. I can accept that hormones changed my attitude to children (although I'm not a big fan of other people's kids) so now how do I go about "letting go"?
Somehow, in the next few years I need to learn how to sever the apron strings that have woven my children so tightly into my life. It never occurred to me that I would feel like this and it's bizarre really because I'm still keen for my children to leave home to go to university (there seem to be a lot here who go to the Uni closest to home so they can stay living with mommy) and yet I'm now sure that I will be a complete wreck when the time comes to wave the first one off.
Do you think there are classes to help guide the uninitiated along this treacherous path? After all there's all manner of childcare courses and charities to help one gear up to becoming a parent. Alternatively I guess, I could just ask mom, she's been through it all and now has to contend with her children living so far away that flights are required.
I still have some time to plan and prepare though, Ben wont be ready for Uni for another four years I think****, so maybe in that time I can ship him off for longer and longer periods of time, rather like some drug dependent old bag, weaning myself little by little, step by step, taking just one day at a time!
* amazing planning, they were born three days apart, thank goodness Ben is now "too old" to celebrate with a party, there were a hellish few years where we had to plan May with military precision.
** only some of the kids take French, some take Latin, and of those taking French not all opted to do the exchange, consequently normal schooling continues, including a Physics test which he is keen to take.
*** not that I've told him that of course, he wouldn't appreciate it at all.
**** I'm a little bit hazy on the German schooling system, a fact that is further complicated by Ben going back a year when we moved here and then the system here being truncated by 1 year since we moved here.