Tracey has spent the last two days helping Master19 clean out his stuff and pack because he’s heading off to university to begin the next phase of his life – picking up after himself. At last!
The last month has been a very stressful time for poor Master19. Firstly, there’s been the trouble finding a place to rent. This was made complicated by the recent flooding in Brisbane, with many displaced people snapping up rentals and creating a shortage.
And let’s face it, the application of a bunch of school leavers isn’t exactly going to find itself on the top of the potential renters pile. The boys (he’s moving down with two friends) finally managed to pull the wool over an agents eyes mid-week. And it’ll feel very much like home for Master19 as the other three bedroom unit of the duplex has a family with eight kids living in it. And there’s a shared laundry.
Following this there was the panic to hire a truck to get all their gear down. That fizzled when it turned out all rental trucks in the area were booked out for months, again because of the floods. This shortage of trucks facilitated a panic to hire a trailer, which led to the panic that I would have to drive to Brisbane towing it. Now the boys are using a removalist so the panic has been arranging for all the boys’ stuff to come to our place for pickup.
Because their stuff won’t be moved down to Brisbane until Thursday the boys are all taking camping beds to sleep on. Nothing like a good nights sleep to get them off to a good start with their studies.
And now there’s the panic with the electricity – they won’t know if it’s connected until they arrive. Meals this weekend could consist of tepid baked beans on butterless bread. And no computers. And as Miss16 told us in no uncertain words, that would be inhumane.
Master19 arrived home last night from his last shift at the local video shop with half a carton of beer for me and some flowers and chocolates for Tracey as a thank you for all our excellentness these past 19 years. He’s a sweetie. He’s actually been really upset about leaving work and home and stepping up. Excited as well, but anxious about moving away from the family.
All week he’s been moping about saying things like, “this is the last time I meet Dad for a coffee”, “the last time I have a decent home cooked meal” and “the last time I kiss the babies goodnight.”
To which he could easily have added, “this is the last time I eat a plate of leftovers in the fridge Dad was saving for lunch”,”the last time I get out of doing the dishes even though it’s my turn,” “the last time I watch Big Bang Theory when I should be packing” and “this is the last time I hog the bathroom and mark out my territory with my scent.”
Naturally I gave him some sterling fatherly advice – told him not to stuff it up or he’ll end up in a dead end job like a bank or video shop. Pep talk, over and done. Hopefully I’ll get better at this by the sixth child.
The boys arranged to leave G-town at 9am and, in true-to-form Devereaux style, they were off at the crack of 10.45 with boxes and towels and pillows shoved into every nook of their three cars.
As we watched him drive away I wasn’t sure exactly how I feel about Master19 leaving the nest – on the one hand there’s a genuine sense of loss settling over me but on the other hand we really need his room.