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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another milestone

Yesterday was Stephen's first day at university.

Here we are outside the King's College library...

Coincidentally, this weekend also happens to be the weekend when many buildings of historical interest which are usually private are open to the general public, so we were able to tour the library. Pretty amazing...

We were in London by 11, and while Steve got his room key and started unpacking, Bobby and I went to what was billed as an orientation session for family members. Afterwards we met up with Steve again for lunch.


His walk from his hall of residence (hall = res for SAs, dorm for US people) to campus is quite spectacular - along the Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament, past the London Eye and over the bridge to Somerset House.

There was lots happening along the river on Saturday - street art -

someone juggling a glass ball

dancers taking a break - I liked the juxtaposition of the African dress and the Houses of Parliament in the background -

and people blowing bubbles.

This is Stephen's hall - Brian Creamer House. It's in the grounds of Lambeth Palace, and very close to the Archbishop's Park. Because it's set back from the road and hidden from public view it feels very tranquil, despite being so central.

After we'd eaten, we walked back with him and picked up a few groceries on our way - the hall is self-catered; each group of four students has a kitchen to share. A far cry from the pampered existence Bobby and I had, back in the day! And then we said goodbye. He had a party to go to, and we had to get home to the girls.

The day was too busy to feel much sadness. But today all the emotions have hit hard. A mix of happiness for Stephen - the start of a whole new phase for him - and apprehension - how will he cope - and sadness - because we're going to miss him.

This is the end of an era... Of course he will come home... often, I'm sure... but he's now officially a young adult, living on his own. Very bittersweet... Bobby is also quite emotional - I don't think he'd expected that Steve's starting uni would feel quite this momentous, but it does. It really does.


Anonymous said...

Indeed what an exciting time for Stephen, but a bit bittersweet for his parents. Just 5 more years for us - for our first to fly.
I'm so glad you had the day (for the most part) together with him.

They have that open building event in the NL too, it was amazing to enter into usually restricted areas. They need to do that in the U.S. (ha!)

(Adore your outfit!)

Anonymous said...

I had a lump in my throat reading this. The last time I saw him he was such a little boy still. About eight, I think.

At least he is really close by. He'll be home for weekends and holidays and will probably move home for a spell after he graduates.

You can be so proud of him for getting into such a prestigious university. You two have done a fantastic job of raising him.

Fiona XX

Anonymous said...

We dropped our oldest son off at college in New York on Aug 19. Have gotten used to missing him and very grateful parent's weekend is next weekend. At least he's close to you! I remember feeling so adult at that age and my son seems way too young to be responsible for himself.

Lisa said...

((Hugs)) Great for Stephen but rather hard on the parents. My oldest leaves in a year. I'm thinking it'll be quite an adjustment.

Lisa said...

It must be very hard, the reality of children growing up and leaving home. I'm sure you'll adjust, as time goes by, to a new style of relationship. How are the girls finding it?

Lisa (still at least seven years 'til we get there, but finding the years rushing by too fast)

Jo said...

wow wow wows! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

looks like a fabulous place to stay! does he have his own bedroom? what is he studying?

Annalise said...

Lisa - the girls are missing him...
Jo, he's doing a Philosophy degree. He has his own room - fairly spartan but utilitarian... It's self-catered - there's a little kitchen for each group of four rooms... hope they don't all get scurvy!!

Annalise said...

Fiona ... was it really that long ago? Where were we, in that little duplex on the Berea? xx

zunzun said...

Oh my...he's all grown bittersweet it must all guys are amazing's been a privilege to have seen your kids grow up...hugs

Anonymous said...

Yes, exactly! We were in town for a wedding. Still had no kids, but I was already taking notes :-)
Fiona X