April 23, 2015

Empty Room – Goodbye to Alex

As many of you know Alex has taken a gap year before beginning University in September. He has been accepted into the Environmental Studies program at Waterloo. We were thrilled that he was excited to come with us on yet another sailing adventure and we knew that eventually he would need to return home for the summer and find work to save for his expenses in September. The timeline regarding his departure was always up in the air a bit. After plenty of discussion Alex let us know that he was anxious to get back to Toronto, find work and start making his way in preparation for September. Beginning of May is when the university students will also be on the job market so he thought it best to get back end of April and get himself set up and job searching.

For me this is a huge turning point. As a parent you prepare your kids to not need you but when the point actually comes to let go it is harder than I ever imagined. Not because I don’t think he is capable but because I will miss this stage with him. There are still times that I miss little Alex. I know there are plenty of great stages ahead of us but moving on is hard. I love having him on the boat. He is mostly light and sunshine. He puts people at ease and his smile seems to be contagious. He doesn't complain and Graham has come to rely on him for help with sailing and any heavy lifting. He knows how to lighten the mood when things get dicey and is a great brother and friend to Amelia. He still makes plenty of questionable decisions and sometimes has to be reminded to wipe toothpaste off his face but these things will come. I am sad, happy and excited for him all at once.

We decided that he would jump ship in Antigua and fly home to Toronto. For our last sail together Liam from Gromit joined us and it was picture perfect. We trailed two fishing lines, laughed and sailed Salty Ginger fast! As we sailed closer and closer to the island my heart was in my throat. Then as each day passed and he began to pack and we made plans for his return back home and planned his goodbye beach party……my heart hurt. I knew he was leaving but maybe I just didn't believe it.

On his last day Alex and I spent the afternoon together. We kayaked to the beach and walked into the marina. We swam and laughed and remembered good times. He mentioned to me that he is looking forward to me shifting from parenting to advising. He makes me laugh. He also said that he will not entertain text messages which read "Where are you?" I really enjoyed that afternoon.

The night before he flew out we had a big beach barbecue with the Gromits and our friends Tanner and Shari and their boys. It was the perfect evening. Liam even fired off his last few fireworks in honor of Alex’s goodbye.

Now his room is empty…..I miss him. Life is different without him. I still have moments where I buy four of something or mention to someone I have two kid on board….then I remember :-(. Amelia has totally stepped in and has taken on Alex’s sailing responsibilities and our 4 night dinner making rotation is now a 3 night rotation.  I know she misses him, especially at night since Graham and I crash so early. We are so lucky to have 3 wonderful Gromit kids nearby to fill our lonely hearts.

I spoke to Alex and asked him how he was doing and he said that the only word to sum it all up was "happy." This made me feel better. Time for me to move on and assume my new role as "Advisor."

Oh and hey on the plus side we have an empty room now for visitors and I have a ton of new cupboard space ;-).

1 comment:

  1. So sad and yet so funny, all in one. Great story "advisor"! Have fun Alex.