I’ll Miss You

My husband and I have a dream. It’s not elaborate. It’s not unachievable. We dream of living on a yacht in the Meditteranean. It’s totally do-able. We both sail. Well, my husband more than me. Though I do remind him frequently that if he ever went overboard I would be able to save him. Goodness, I hope so! Actually, I’m sure he hopes so too. However, this is not a dream we can live now as there is the slight issue of having three dependent teenagers.

Much to their annoyance, this dream of ours is often cited when they are being particularly teenagery (I know, not a word, but it works!). We wistfully play around with the words of what life could be if we weren’t having to be responsible adults and actually do this thing called work and parenting. It drives the children insane. It’s probably not particularly the right way to parent, to be fair, but some days, the dream of lying on a yacht, sun-drenched and frankly drunk on good quality vitamin sea compares quite favourably to the utter rubbish that bringing up three teens sometimes throws at us. Yet again, probably a tad harsh but I think that all three of mine would admit that on certain days the less than exemplary behaviour of being a teen is hard, even for the most patient and wonderful parents out there.

This dream of ours was verbalised again this morning as we were drinking coffee. But there was a difference. The children are getting older. The reality of us actually living on a yacht in the Mediterranean on our own, the sun on our skin, sparkling waters lapping the edge of the hull, is getting closer and closer. And, suddenly, my heart aches as I imagine a time, now not too far away, where it is just us. And suddenly, I don’t want to joke about it anymore. It doesn’t seem quite so entertaining to dream. I’ll miss them, heartachingly so.

I’ll miss the closeness of them, the fact that they’re with me. I’ll miss the fullness and chaos they bring to my life. I’ll miss their laughter, their chats, their ease of company just by being around. I’ll miss their rooms being theirs. I’ll miss the scent of them. I’ll miss their kisses goodnight, their kisses good morning. I’ll miss them being small, them being big. I’ll miss it all. Every last moment of them being mine.

And that right there is why suddenly it feels wrong to jest, to tease the children that we would rather be on our yacht. I need to live for the now because the reality of that dream is edging too close. And whilst I can’t fault the beauty of that time my husband and I will have, it’s bittersweet. Its reality signifies the end of raising our children. A time I honestly thought would last forever. It was meant to be limitless, wasn’t it? Almost a final step. And whilst we have the most wonderful memories I want the next few years to count even more. I want them to be the best yet because, kids, when that dream we joke about becomes our reality, I’ll miss you so damn much, more than you could possibly ever imagine … just saying.

 

27 thoughts on “I’ll Miss You

  1. Oh Helen. Gorgeous as always. I think it’s the little things which hit you – when I went to uni I remember getting a text from my mum as she’d found one of my socks in the laundry basket when she wasn’t expecting it and it had made her cry! I know you’ll still have such a close relationship even when the day comes that they aren’t living at home anymore xx

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  2. Oh sweetheart bless you. Found myself welling up reading this as I already dress the day however far away it is. You must remember that even if you’re not always near, you’ll always be in their hearts until the next time they’re in your arms.
    Big love xx

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  3. Such a moving and poignant post Helen. And just the reminder I needed tonight after a particularly tricky parenting afternoon where I have just been craving some peace and quiet. Actually reading this now made me very emotional and reminded me that I will ache for these times one day. So thank you – thank you for the warmth, humour and honesty – these attributes make the post all the more powerful. xx

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    1. Hayley, thank you for your comment. Trust me, I’ve had all the rubbish days with mine too but that’s normal and we have to accept that but I find comfort in the fact that we all go through it even though we adore our children from the bottom of our hearts! I found this ridiculously hard to write and had to walk away from my laptop at times because I didn’t know where the words were going to take me! Oh who knew parenting was going to be all the emotions. Thank you so much for your lovely comment – it means so much xx

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  4. Oh Helen. You have such a beautiful family and it’s so strange to think that far too soon it will be just the two of you again when you have spent three lifetimes surrounded by your beautiful children. Such a poignant post and I know that every day will mean so much. So lovely meeting you yesterday x

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    1. Oh, Donna, thank you so much! Struggling with the changes at the moment – more than I thought I would! Have to make the days count even more now! Though I can just hear my teens after reading this saying that I’m no longer allowed to nag or moan as I have to make everyday count! Gorgeous to meet you too my lovely xx

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  5. I can so relate to this article Helen. I have 4 children but a few years ahead of you. The boys (25 and 28) are living with girlfriends in Chelmsford and London respectively) and both girls (21 and 18) are now at university. So now it’s just my husband and me at home all the time. Emily took a gap year so we shouldn’t have had the girls overlapping for a year but she will graduate and hopefully be home next summer. When all the children were at home and I had 4 different secondary schools to get them to, countless parents’ evenings (and I had 3 different schools on one evening once!) numerous letters and forms to fill in, homework to help with, spellings to learn etcc. Not to mention getting the boys to football and the girls to dancing at the weekends and after school. And don’t get me started on the amount of washing I had – 5 shirts every single day of the week including my husband’s work shirts and 5 beds to change every week.
    Now I barely have enough washing to do every couple of days, only one bed to change each week and as for shopping, I walked round Sainsbury’s last week after 21 year old had gone back to university with tears in my eyes for all the food I didn’t have to buy for her. She had been working in Disney Orlando all summer but I had her home for almost 2 weeks and loved spending time with her before she went back to start her 3rd year.
    When they were little I longed for some peace and time for me. Now I love it when they’re all back home – it’s rare to get us all together but I cherish those moments and insist of the obligatory family photo much to the eldest’s disgust! I love getting their washing home to do, changing their beds and cleaning their rooms when they’re here. Oh and I also love sending care packages to university with little gifts to make them smile. Yes it’s lovely being able to do what we want and when we want but I didn’t have children to wish them away and I love that they all still want to come home and be looked after.
    Enjoy your teenages (including all their teenagery behaviour) because before you know it you’ll be on that yacht, sipping wine and wonder where the years have all gone.

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    1. Oh Tracey thank you so much for sharing your story. I find this stage of parenting playing out its final role so emotional. You never think it will end. And, yes, of course, as the days of absolute chaos and downright boredom of relentles, washing, cooking and cleaning take their toll we wouldn’t change it for the world but we have no control over time. Time still passes and the children learn to become adults. We know it’s a natural process but boy is it hard for us parents! Who’d have thought we’d feel all these emotions. I love the fact that your children still want to come back and be looked after – I’ll cherish and relish in that! xx

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  6. I love this and despite my two still being quite young I know I will be the same. My husband and i often talk about moving back down to Central London, walking distance from yoga, cafes and theatres. It’s a dream and a distant one but when the day comes that it could be a reality I think I will cry a lot as it will mean my girls have grown up. Beautifully captured darling. x

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    1. Chet thank you for reading and for your comment. Loving your dream too but it signifies an end doesn’t it? And that’s the part that doesn’t make that dream quite so gorgeous, however much we adore our partners! The signifying of an end of an era is tough xx

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  7. I’m never going to complain about my kids ever again! Ok, I probably will but I can’t imagine being where you are now and only having a few years left with them at home. You’ll always be there Mum though, even if you are floating around on s yacht somewhere xx

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  8. This story is simply beautiful, I’m sure so many parents can relate to this. I always remember that when me and my sister left Home both aged 20 my parents didn’t know what to do with themselves to begin with. They were always coming round, much to my annoyance at the time. We are still very close and they jump at the chance of coming on holiday with us all. You sound like a very close family, that will never go and you will always have them close. Don’t worry xxxx

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  9. Oh Helen this makes my heart ache. This world you talk about feels alien to me, but I also know that the years are going to race by and I will be stood in your shoes sooner than I would like. I know you will make the most of this time with your beautiful family. It was really lovely to meet you at the weekend x #bigpinklink

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  10. What a beautiful post! It’s such a lovely dream that you have, sounds like heaven to live on a boat and spend quality time with your other half. Even though my kids are tiny still I can totally relate to what you’re saying. They drive me crazy some days but I can’t bear the thought of them ever moving out. I will miss them so much, it all goes too quickly doesn’t it. Love your family photo here, such a beautiful family x #fortheloveofblog

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  11. Oh darling your writing is always so touching, there are so many firsts in parenting and whilst the journey is exhausting and sometimes frustrating the lasts are heart-breaking. Even though this pregnancy is very hard and I am wishing it away every now and again I stop and think this is the last time and their is bittersweet sadness in that. Much love #fortheloveofblog xx

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  12. My Heart aches just thinking about it! Ours is a little less boat oriented though, small sufficient house in the wildes Scotland… glad I’ve at least 18 years more to deal with the loss!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

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  13. Oh don’t! I worry about this so much already, and Baby Lighty is only two! I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself when he’s grown and no longer needs me. This is just beautiful, thank you for sharing it with #DreamTeam xxx

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  14. Oh Helen this makes my heart ache but in a beautiful way. I just can’t bear to think of my littles not being little any more but I know it’s to come. One day we’ll all be looking back on these parenthood times… but if you’re going to do that you might as well do it from a yacht in the Med. Such a gorgeous post as always 🙂 xx

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  15. Oh Helen I am there holding your hand. I know what you mean! We dream of living in the mountains as we love to ski but to ski without my babies racing ahead of me seems pointless…….I’m doing the Uni Open Days at the moment and it’s so tough. I want her to go and fulfill her dreams but don’t want her to go all rolled into one. I’m up at the moment as I’m waiting for her to come home…….being a parent of teens is tough sometimes. Sending you ((hugs)). Sophie x

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  16. When you’re at the start, it feels like you have eternity to make memories, but those years fly by so quickly and you find yourself clawing to get them back. I’m not at the stage where my kids will be leaving home yet, but the weeks are counting down until my youngest starts nursery. It’s the first step on that journey away from me and I’m dreading it!

    Someone else obviously related to this a lot too because this post was added to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

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  17. I have a draft post sitting in my box about losing your kids to University … and i can totally relate to all of this. two teenagers here and one will be leaving in two years followed by the other. The empty nesters is what we shall become … its painful to think of and i only just apologised to my own mum last week as i was an awful child that ran off to uni and didnt much look back at what id done to her. She never uttered a word even though her heart broke. Hang in there. We all have to do it …. mums best advice was you gotta let them go and spread their wings. But the happy nature of your family life will bring them back to you eventually. I guess i shall wait and see. Lovely post. has encouraged me to finish my draft off and get it posted soon. Take care x

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