Over the past, oh I don't know, my eldest son has been a major cause of worry in my life. He is studying for a Diploma in Uniformed Services - a course which gears young people up to a career in one of the public or armed forces.
This picture was taken today at 7am. He was going off on a Survival Course somewhere (location was kept a secret just in case anxious parents travelled to rescue them I suppose!). He was not allowed a tent - 'no mum, you have to survive - make your own shelter'. My son cannot (will not?) even make his own bed, how on earth is he going to provide shelter for himself?
As I sit and write this, we are being lashed by the worst weather this country has seen for 30 years apparently. Terrible gales and rain. He will not be able to light a fire - no hot food or drink for him for the next 3 days. He will be cold and wet and freezing. Oh I am so worried - problems aside, he is my son and I love him.
This morning he sent me a text - before his mobile had to be handed in - saying simply 'It's going to be awesome, I can't wait'.
It's very difficult being a parent. It's even more difficult realising that your children no longer rely on you, no longer need you. My role in life has changed.
Hurry home son, I miss you!