Friday 12 February 2010

Growing up and blogging for The Lady

I’m all at sea, all discombobulated, haven’t been able to settle. Not that unusual a state of affairs of course but this is something more. My boy is off on a school trip tomorrow – a five day rugby tour involving a plane flight (and a 3.30am start to boot). I’m not the clingy mummy type (far from it) but I’ve been finding myself holding on for a few extra seconds of hug this last week, snuggling up closer on the sofa and even watching Top Gear while kissing the top of his head (to the point where he turned and said, ‘You’re going to give me a bald spot at this rate’).

He’ll have a ball (literally and metaphorically) and I know he’ll be fine but – oh – I can’t help but worry and just know I will miss him like fury. So, I’ll get a lie-in on Sunday. So, I will have the time to crack on with the new novel without constant interruption. But, crikey, it feels strange. We’ve been parted for this long before but usually it’s me doing the going away. This is him branching out on his own, starting the road to independence that is so necessary and right for a child and such a mix of pain and joy for a parent.

It seems barely five minutes ago that he was being born (all 12lbs 8oz of him), having his first day at school, having his first sleepover....

That’s it really. Nothing more to be said. Brace up, Alexander old girl....could be packing him off to boarding school, I suppose. You know I couldn't even think about watching that TV programme - even the trailer with the mother crying got me going. I dunno...I don't believe in criticising other people's parenting methods but surely eight years old is too young by far to be away from home for a whole term?

On other matters... I have just started doing a blog for The Lady. Don’t laugh – it’s not just posh peeps any more (well, hardly, with me on board). Do take a look and, if you don’t mind signing up (I don’t think it means you’ll be bombarded with prospective nannies – they’re far too polite for spam), would love to have your comments on it.


Bluestocking Mum said...

That's a beautiful picture of you and J.

This struck such a chord - I hate being away from my boys even for one night. But what is it they say, "Give them roots, then give them wings..." And there's something about boys and their mums.

Having said that, you could gladly take Idle Jack away from me for 5 days at the wait until J is 16! Grrr..

Great news about the Lady. I always knew you were a posh bird.

Sounds like you have all sorts on the go at present - well done you.

take care

Sally Townsend said...

Lets face it its going to be awful without him and absolutely wonderful to have him back safe and sound, all rites of passage blah blah blah. Meanwhile arm yourself with something to fortify yourself and think of that romantic Valentines Day morning...... Mwaaah xx

Not From Lapland said...

oh no! i hope you get some work done on the novel and dont spend the whole time pacing up and down worrying.

Jen Walshaw said...

I have yet to be seperated for my boys for more than one night, I am not sure how I would feel, another parenting motment which will come far too soon!

Molly Potter said...


12lb 8oz!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a crikey.

Secondly. I'm with you completely. I pine for the duration of the occasional 16 hour sleepover my daughter attends. It will take a really foul adolescence for me to let go. And then I'll have to do it all over again with my son.

Parenthood smarenthood.

Expat mum said...

Yes - 12 pounds what! Yikes!

LittleGreenFingers said...

Nope, it's not good, I've tried reading this post three times and I still can't get past the 12lb 8oz.

Victoria Summerley said...


Frances said...

Jane, you know that I have none of these birth experiences, but did you really mean 12 pounds, just before those additional ounces?

It is a delight to read this post and the prior one, because I know how well you do write, and am greedy to see more of your talent.

Since you were also a young child (and I was also a young child even before you were born) I think that you know what a lovely experience it can be for a child to test those developing wings away from home. It might be a quick hop or a true flight. A marvelous time for a child to ... develop whatever that child might develop. Homesick, possibly. Raring to discover the "outside" ... possibly.

I know that when your fabulous son returns home, he will want to tell his parent some wonderful travel tales. And I know that you all will listen in a way that not all parents are able.

xxx ooo

60GoingOn16 said...

The Lady, woooh! Now there's a thing - another Jane Alexander must read; it will liven things up no end.

As for offspring and that tight connection to the heart, it never goes away. My daughter is now in her forties and I still feel an inward clutching when she is facing up to a new challenge.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I've not had to face my children staying away yet...I must admit the thought of it would have me pacing too. Good luck with the novel and the blog!

Fennie said...

Hi Jane,

Just tried to leave a comment on the Lady blog - excellent - but not sure what happened. The comment box comes up but there is nowhere that says 'submit' unless I am going blind and I am not sure I want to create an account with The Lady first. I am not as sanguine as you about the spam.

On this blog - absolutely wonderfully happy photo. I was actually sent away at the age of eight. I cried for weeks before but once the event happened I was never so happy and certainly not homesick.
I think I thought it better than home with friends around 24 hours a day. Being removed when our little farm failed 18 months later and losing all those friends was actually far worse.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

What a great photo and what an interesting comment from Fennie. My thoughts on sending children away are very similar to yours but clearly there are other ways to be!

Tattieweasle said...

I too sort of stopped at 12lbs but got over it quite quickly just hoping you did as well! He's such a bonny boy - sorry young man. Haven't had to really see mine go yet will blubber horribly and then they'll want to stay away even more and that will make the blubbering worse...
I was incarcerated at 8 but luckily let out on good behaviour ten years later...

Fire Byrd said...

No doubt James is back and all that fretting was for nought!
Just tried to get on your Lady connection, won't let me.
My Grandmother, who was posh read the Lady, and then gave it my my Mum, not posh, then I would flick through it, has pretensions to be posh!!
Did here the new editor on the Box trying to convince the world that The Lady was no longer posh.
If you think about it send me the link as love to read it.

CAMILLA said...

I used to loathe it when my children were away on holiday with school, I was always one of those nervous wreck worrying type of mums.

James is back by now no doubt,but we can't help but worry for their safety, bet James had a fab time though.

I used to buy The Lady when we owned a cottage here in North Norfolk and we used to advertise it for holiday let. It's a great mag, and I like it even more so now since it has been published in a newer style. I rushed out and bought the February Collector's Edition of 125 years and realised that you must have had your article/blog in the January edition Jane.

Will go and check it out, know it will be fab, you are a wonderful writer Jane, well done you.!

Lovely pic of you and James, really lovely.