THE Man-in-Charge made a journey up the A 64 last week to collect some of Secondborn’s ‘stuff’, as she calls it, from university.
It’s nine months since we first delivered her to the campus and, as I recall, we had to make two round trips to convey all her pots and pans, drying rack, laptop, bedding, clothing, posters and shoe collection to the accommodation block on the campus.
And so it was that last weekend we had to go through for a second time in a week to empty her room. “Why has she got so much stuff,” said the MIC, as we packed suitcases and stuffed boxes. He said much the same thing about Firstborn and his extensive array of kitchen equipment and jackets.
Firstborn’s girlfriend is quite sniffy about such acquisitiveness. Her family lives in Switzerland so when she came to university here she had just one suitcase to carry her possessions and was careful not to incur excess baggage charges as she flew backwards and forwards for the holidays.
Every summer for the past four years we have done the ‘moving out and moving in’ routine with one or both of the Offspring. In almost every case we have turned up to discover that absolutely no packing whatsoever had been done, so we did that as well. Last year I even found myself cleaning a student house because its occupants had chosen to spend their last evening there playing games instead of scrubbing the sink. They rewarded me with fish and chips.
But from now on we will only have one student in the family. The Boy has graduated at long last. Modesty prevents me from bragging so let’s just say that he did quite well and has a job lined up with an excellent Huddersfield company in September. No parent could really want or expect more.
As well as educating our children, I have learned that the university experience serves another important function. It allows young people to grow up and spread their proverbial wings within a controlled environment. They gain independence slowly but surely.