That is what today is, the end of an era.
For four years I have been driving J to and from school on a trip that takes anything from 2.5 to 3 hours on a Monday morning. He is a weekly boarder so needs to be picked up Saturday lunchtime and taken back on Sunday night or Monday morning. For three years it was Sunday night but for the past year it has been Monday morning (with thanks to the lovely Jo who takes E to school for me so I can do it). Leaving the house at just after 6.30am, dropping him just before 8am and then turning around and driving home again through Reading’s rush hour traffic.
Getting up and ironing his shirts, waking him up, leaving the house in the dark, doing a sneaky drive thru McDonalds for breakfast, it became part of our weekly routine. And as much as I hated the journey I also loved it for the time it gave me with him. Just the two of us. Debating all sorts of things from tax to gay marriage to cars to the cabinet. We talked about it all on those journeys.
Saturdays were defined by pick ups, first by rowing regattas if J was taking part, and then by what time games finished. Exeat weekends meant I had to collect him Friday afternoons, taking two hours out of a working day.
Not anymore though.
As of today J is doing it himself. Well he will be if the ice clears. But it will no longer be me doing those drives. I will probably only have to do it once a year for speech day.
No longer will it be my car rammed to the roof on the first day of term with towels, duvet, sports kit, shirts, shoes and books. It will be his.
He is the proud owner of a Corsa. I am now redundant