16.8.18

update and restart




You're still there! Hello, and thank you to all who left comments on my previous post. I really wasn't expecting anyone to still be reading, but since you are, maybe an update is order.

Life is good here at The Quince Tree. Everyone is well and happy.

Today in particular is a good day as we celebrate Katie's A level results. She'll be off to university in Bristol in four weeks. Tom will also be starting university in September. He has already moved into his digs here in Worcester, and George who graduated from the University of Hull in July is heading back there next week for a year's post-grad in teaching.

So, from the middle of September all of my children will have left home, albeit temporarily. I must say I am looking forward to it tremendously.  Friends tell me they either were or will be desolate when the last chick leaves the nest. I don't see that happening to me. I've never been sentimental about my children growing up. I am the only mother I know who failed to shed a single tear when her children started school. I seem to remember singing, and maybe skipping a little, on the walk back from dropping Katie off on her first day at school. Like the city I was born in my motto is 'forward'.

One lady told me she found her life lacked purpose when her children had left home which I found quite startling. Being a mother is important but it isn't your entire life. It isn't mine. I have imagination, resourcefulness, a liking for periods of solitude, a house full of unread books, an unfit body to get into shape, a tree full of quinces, plus a husband I look forward to seeing each evening and whose company I really enjoy. So, as long as they all remember to text or call once a week I'm good.





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38 comments

  1. I'm glad to see you! I'm like you, never shed a tear over my fledgling leaving the nest. I figure it's my job to grow an adult, and I see each step she takes as a sign I did something right. Congratulations to your young ones, and best wishes for their continued success in the future.

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    1. Growing adults is exactly how I think of parenting too Barb.

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    2. That is just what I did! It all seems to have worked out well and I was able to indulge myself in whatever I wanted to do. Good fod you Sue.


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  2. I never missed my daughter going off to uni, or to work abroad for two years, but when she moved 200 miles away to live with her partner, I did feel a pang of loss, as her permanent home was now elsewhere. However, we were getting to the stage where we needed space from one another, in order to appreciate each other.

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  3. Calling or texting once a week may be pushing it! Or maybe my four were just as unsentimental as me.

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    1. Well the eldest calls once a week to tell us his news, but you’re right I maybe beng optimistic about the other two doing the same.

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  4. Well said, Sue, and good luck to all of you!

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  5. Anonymous6:28 pm BST

    I missed my daughter dreadfully when she moved out but then I was a single parent and she an only child, so my home just had me in it. I cried a couple of times in the weeks before she went, and as the train drew away. I never saw her in her student digs or even visited the university, and was unable to help with all her luggage, and all the bedding and saucepans she needed to organise and get on a bus and carry after a very long journey managing lots of heavy luggage. It was physically hard and very stressful for her to deal with on her own but she had to manage and she did. There was no settling her in as other parents do as we had no funds for me to travel to the other end of the country. That kind of thing made it extra sad for me. It seems most young people were driven down by family, necessary housekeeping purchases made together beforehand and then calmly waved off after a cup of tea and reassurances that all was well. She kind of disappeared into the unknown.

    However, she kept contact nicely (thank you Skype) and I stopped crying as I hadn't been abandoned and enjoyed just cooking for one and so on. My daughter is the best part of my life and my biggest love so of course I missed her but it was also an interesting time. Being a mother was the most important part of my identity and still is. For my Mum it was being a wife, for my sister it is her job. Just reflections on different lives we lead and the kind of people we are - no one kind being better than another.

    I too though have an external and internal life and always have - they are part of why I enjoyed being a mother. Motherhood expanded my brain and experiences not shrunk it.It is a huge part of what defines me. I love it and always have. It doesn't mean I am clingy or can't let go. It doesn't mean I don't want her independence or don't applaud her achievements or indeed wanted to keep her as a child. I gave birth to a person rather than a baby, and she has continued to grow and change but I have loved it all, not just certain ages. I love how she is as an adult and my changed relationship but I did miss her. Happy for her for sure, but in parts sad for me. No longer sad for me, as like all change you usually adapt.

    Some mums and dads feel it very badly, their empty nest can be literally devastating for them. I have seen it first hand and some bloggers online too. Sometimes mental and emotional health takes a steep decline and it can be very sad to see. It can be very traumatic and life changing for some people and a real struggle to find a way through. We are all different.

    I didn't cry when my daughter started school though :)
    Faye

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    1. Thank you for this thoughtful and perceptive take on the empty nest. I always appreciate your comments Faye.

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  6. How lovely to see things moving around here again with a lovely photo of ripening blackberries! Enjoy your newfound freedom!

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  7. Lovely to see a post from you, Sue. Your youngest child will be leaving when my eldest is leaving – your last, my first. I'm excited for my son but a little sad for me because I will miss him – he's great company. I know what Barb above means, though, and I'm glad he's heading out into the world with energy and purpose. It's a learning curve, this parenting lark. Enjoy your freedom; I'm going to enjoy less laundry (until he comes home again) and not having to buy quite so much cereal.

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    1. My eldest has four different sports kits and seems to wear a different one each day. I’m going to be enjoying less laundry too.

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  8. Good to see you back, enjoy having some extra time for yourself.

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  9. When the last one flew the nest, we moved! He came with us to help get us settled but since the house and he had no connection it was a little easier. The toughest separation was leaving our sixteen year old in the UK when we moved over here to the US. She came for holidays but it was difficult for her to feel part of the family even though it was her decision.

    Enjoy your time with Mr Quince!

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  10. Lovely to see you back and enjoyed your post. Thank you for the blackberry photo. They are my favourite fruit, especially when popped in my mouth after being warmed by the sun. There are no blackberry bushes where I live now, and I miss them!

    I hope we see more of you.

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  11. I miss my kids when they're not here, because I enjoy the adults they have become. I love having them when they come to visit, but I'm also glad to get my house back and my alone time when they leave.

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  12. My daughter went to boarding school at 13 - a carefully made and totally successful decision - so by the time Uni came along I was well versed in the childless term times ( Not that we didn't see her frequently). Our job, I think is to equip them for the world and let them go - and miraculously, they come back, hopefully,the adults you always thought and hoped they'd become. Enjoy the next phase of parenthood, congrats to Katie, and I look forward to seeing you next week. X

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  13. Exciting prospects for the future! Good luck to all your children as they fly the nest.

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  15. Sue, how wonderful to read this. Like you I never shed a tear when my children started school nor when they left home. I loved being a mum and I still do love being a mum but it is a role that changes and I relish each stage. Especially that freedom that comes as they grow more independent. And yes, it's not what defines me, it is just a part of who I am. Well said!

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  16. A fascinating post, and lots of interesting comments. Firstly Faye's comment - what you had little choice over i.e. sending your daughter off to uni all on her own was probably a very good experience for her. My siblings, and myself later in life at 23, all left home for college or university by train and by sending on a trunk.

    And your post Sue - my mum used to say to me on the phone after my eldest (of 4) had left home for uni - "Oh but you must miss him...." and I used to think - "Er no, not particularly!!". I was always happy to have him home in the holidays but never minded him going away again! Our other 3 all left home at very respectable agesi.e. quite young..... the thought of having children still living at home, or having left but come back, in their 30s, fills me with horror!! Now we have two grandchildren and while I love them dearly (one is local and one 400 miles away though will be returning closer next year) there is no way I want to be one of those grandmothers who looks after them while their daughters/sons are out at work. I just don't get why so many women want to do this!! It's not all done out of financial necessity for the mothers. It seems that every new grandmother I come across locally is not only doing this but WANTING to!! My husband still works and I do some sewing jobs from home to earn a little money, and I also have a ton of other things I'm interested in and want to do. I don't want to spend my life looking after my grandchildren! I sometimes feel that makes me a less loving grandmother, but I also think that some of these grandmothers are actually making life rather too easy for their daughters/sons by taking their children and looking after them.

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    1. I don’t want to be one of those grandmothers either.

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  17. I have noticed this summer all young children seem to be with their grand parents, and pretty fed up the grandparents look!I have no intention of being one of those grandparents either.Our children will inherit what is left of our money,thats enough in my book!

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  18. Yes, we are very much still here, please, if you can, continue to blog

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  19. Two of my three kids left home within a month of each other. That just left three of us at home. It must have taken me a couple of years to learn how much bread and milk to buy. I was always rushing through on autopilot and buying for five, not three...

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    1. i can see this causing me problems too. Egg consumption reduced dramatically when the middle one moved out.

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  20. Lovely to see you back, Sue - and congratulations on a job well done. I'm always shocked by friends whose offspring - now in their 20s - can't seem to cope without phoning their mum every half-hour.

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  21. Good to see you back Sue, I still come over and use some of your wonderful recipes. Time goes by so fast, surprising to read that by September your children will have left home! We found once we got use to the change we enjoyed the extra time and opportunities and freedom. Sarah x

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  22. So glad to see you posting again. I so enjoy seeing the world through your eyes. Your perspective is refreshing.

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  23. My youngest is going back to university in Chester next month, starting her third year. I remember I was quite emotional when I dropped her off there two years ago. Now, I can really enjoy the summer with her when she comes back as she has been enjoying the time there. Love, Ellie HS

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  24. Hi Sue, I'm a longtime reader, thrilled to see you are blogging again.
    I thought you might like to know that I use the recipe index on your blog more than any of my - rather substantial - collection of cookbooks.

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  25. Welcome back! I have missed your blog!

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  26. It's nice to see that you're back.

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  27. And how is the tree? Did the fruit hold on? What will you do with it?

    Glad to see you again.

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    1. The tree is very well thank you. The fruit held on and some still holds on. I used just a fraction of the crop this year as there were so many. It’s been a bumper year for quinces. I made some quince vodka for Christmas tippling and a few jars of quince jelly. I baked a few in pies and piled a large bowl high with quinces to scent the dining room.

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