So it's only 2 more days until we take Hattie back to Cardiff for her second year at uni. She has been home for 3 months but has been working so much that I haven't really seen that much of her. There is evidence of her habitation - extra wet towels in the bathroom, the use of every pan in the cupboard to make beans on toast etc and even if I can't see her, I can always hear her.
As we prepare to pack I can't help thinking to this time a year ago and how I felt.
I was dreading it!
The worst thing wasn't the actual taking her there, but coming home to find a huge empty space in the dining room where all her wordly goods had been for the previous few days was hard - very hard.
Her first year room in halls of residence was like a tiny prison cell. I waited until Al and Martha were downstairs and remember grabbing Hattie and saying ''I can't leave you here'' but she insisted she was going to be fine, which of course she was and so was I. No matter how old they are, no matter how many arguments you have with them , they are always your babies. I know when she was first born that people used to say to me to make the most of her because in a blink of an eye she would be grown up and away....and never was a truer word spoken. I therefore would urge all my friends with younger kids to do the same - time certainly does fly and this last year seems to have flown extra quickly.
She obviously can't wait to go back. In this year she has made some fantastic friends up there and has genuinely missed them all so much. She knows that now she is no longer a fresher that she may have to curb her nights out a bit and there will probably be more coursework to do but she knows the score by now.
I also know that she can live without her Mum and Dad, that although she may make a mess she can also cook a meal without burning a kitchen down, she does remember to turn her hair straighteners off without me reminding her and that despite growing up in Cornwall where everyone knows each other and you can leave your back door open etc etc , she can survive urban life.
She also now has some idea as to what she wants to do after uni ( speech therapy ) and is very focussed.
And me a year on? Yes, I will miss her loads but I am as proud of her today as I have always been.