This time tomorrow I will be anxiously waiting at the local train station waiting for the train from Sheffield to arrive. You know the routine. Arrive far too early, sit in the car park pretending not to be watching the clock. Thinking up an excuse not to be sitting in the car because you really want to be on the station platform ready and waiting. Casually getting out the car, walking towards the ticket office and onwards through to Platform 1. Glancing nonchalantly at the arrivals board to see if the train is on time. Staring anxiously into the distance to watch for the first glimpse of the train as it comes round the corner and into view. That excited little feeling in your stomach as it gets closer. Stepping backwards as the train draws in, that shudder of noise as the driver puts on the brakes. A few heartbeats of silence before the doors open and people start to step off the train. What part of the train will he be on? Do I look left or right? And then that wonderful moment when a slightly bedraggled, scruffy, student steps off, lugging a huge holdall (no doubt full of washing) onto the platform. That wonderful moment when he catches your eye, a big grin comes over his face as he rushes forward and gives you a big hug. ‘Hi Mum, oh, it’s great to be home.’
And it will be great to have him home too.
When my daughter was at university she bought me a little book of quotes all about Mums. She had put little page markers in the pages that she thought were most appropriate. There’s one that says ‘Nothing looks as lonely as your mum before she sees you coming up the platform’. That will be me – this time tomorrow.