Our teenagers are the in-betweeners; Neither a child, nor fully an adult...
You might still find yourself reaching for their hand as you cross the road. Sure to be met with the certified 'Drop dead, Mum!' look.
You may still attempt to buy them gifts that are jokey, quirky and designed to appeal to the kid in them. With Christmas creeping round the corner, such things are still on the menu, non?! Cue the steely stare when they open the chocolate reindeer droppings.
You want them to be careful out there in the world; To avoid the pitfalls of everyday living; To be wary of the many pick-pockets in the city; To stay safe from harm. Watch out for those rolling eyes, you might trip over them!
Now, instead of making their baby steps before your very watchful eyes, your outstretched arms ready to catch them when they tumble, they're taking them in front of members of their most important peer group, most of whom mightn't give a rat's ass if they fall...
They're taking risks in the Big Wide World; They're walking tightropes high above tall buildings; They're juggling multi-coloured leather balls and spinning bright shiny white plates and you have to just watch and wait...
You don't want to live in their pockets; You want them to have their independence. You don't want to be the kind of Mother that falls apart when they're gone. You are braver than that.
So, I knock before I enter his student flat. We text before we are due to arrive there by car so that he has time to have a clean-around and remove any evidence, contraband...
Whatever it is, this is the time when he should be able to make his own choices in life.
I can only hope they are the right ones. We have done all we can to be 'good-enough parents', have we not?
I breathe fresh air in deeply and exhale further, puffing my cheeks out like Dizzy Gillespie.
I remind myself - He's not a baby any longer; I don't have to stand over him to make sure he brushes his teeth thoroughly. I'm not able to ensure he has the right amount of sleep each night, that he's eating properly, or that he's tucked up with a favourite teddy or blankie - In his case, a knitted kitty named 'Miaow'.
Life goes on. Of course it is a little emptier. Until the long holidays, vacations, when he's back again, taking up more space on the sofa than my husband, myself and three rats (his girlfriend's - we're care-taking them - Don't ask!) combined!
On my own blog, I tend to find myself writing a lot about loss. Love and Loss. Love and life.
We bring them up in life the best way we know how. We fight the battles we feel are the most important. And then our children are partially lost to us. Off to life itself. Their lives.
Oh yeah, it's Fhina by the way...