…there was a great deal in Bertie’s life that he would have liked to change, and, had he made a list of these things, his mother would have headed it. Not that he did not love his mother; he loved her deeply, as every small boy must do, but he wished that she could somehow be a different person. However, he realized this was unlikely to happen….and so he was stuck with her as she was, and the only thing to do was endure the twelve years that ley between him and this eighteenth birthday.
When eventually he left home on the morning of that birthday, he would be free and it would not matter any more what his mother was like. He would write to her of course, every six months or so, but he would not have to see her, except when he wanted to. And there was no law, Bertie reminded himself, which stipulated that you had to invite your mother to your flat once you had moved out of the family home; Bertie, in fact, was not planning to give her his address once he had moved out. The Unbearbale Lightness of Scones, Alexander McCall Smith
This passage is from the latest in Smith’s delightful 44 Scotland Street series of novels, a book that is the perfect follow up to the heavy seriousness of Shanghi Girls. It’s also particularly appropriate today, since today my own son turns (not 18!) but 30 years of age. However, he did leave home at the age of 18, and thankfully I’m secure enough in our relationship to post Bertie’s rather disagreebale thoughts about his mother, knowing my own son didn’t share them.
At least I don’t think he did – in the past 12 years, he’s always given me his address.