Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Jennifer called last night. For those new to this blog she is daughter #2, child #3 (youngest) who is attending Queen’s University in Kingston. She is finishing up her Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Art History. OH….you say, she must be an artistic individual, a student with an artistic flair? Absolutely not! Jennifer is more the pragmatic type. What courses will get me through this B.A. stuff the fastest.

Jen had the opportunity to take her first year of university at a castle in England. Sounds very cool, right? She begged and pleaded to go so far away her first year. I was swept up in the excitement of such an adventure truly wanted for myself , I encouraged her to go. My mother, the one who has the pragmatic genes, thought it was ridiculous. Those that know my mother can hear her say that right now. She warned Jennifer it was too far away to go to school for the first time out of the house.

My mother was right………..as always.

The week-end before Thanksgiving (that is October here in Canada) the emails starting flying about how much she hated the castle and couldn’t stand another minute of it. I was away at a conference in Toronto for the week and couldn’t get in touch with her except to read her emails saying she was living in “hell on earth.” What was I to do? There was no way she was coming home. I had told so many people my daughter was attending school in England there was no way I was going to be embarrassed and have her return 4 weeks into this. What would people think? (OK…some things from my mother did rub off on me)

So I did what any insane mother would do. I flew over to England for the week-end. Twenty-six hours actually. Jen met me at the airport. We had a lovely lunch, went to the art gallery in London (they’re all free there) and even witnessed a protest against the Iraq War. We rode the “Eye” so I could see everything in one fell swoop since time was tight and then we took the train to South Sussex to the castle.

I took one look around at Jen’s residence and school. I sat her down and told her she was NOT coming home with me. I told her three things:

1. The castle was not hell on earth but home would be if she came home before finishing her first year.

2. If she came home none of her friends would be there anyway because they were all attending university all around the province and she would be stuck night after night with me.

3. She had to join three clubs or activities in order to meet people

In the end she did stay.

Jen travelled to Rome. Jen traveled to Paris (twice) Jen went to Vimy Ridge for Remembrance Day. Jen went to Scotland. Jen went to Liverpool. Jen spent untold week-ends in London. Jen went to Milan. Jen went to Poland….just because it was only 25 pounds to fly there………..I am sure she did lots of other things mothers just don't need to know about.

What a terrible mother I was to make her stay.

The most important thing Jen did was meet the Jessicas……now there is an interesting story!! Till next time………….there is soooooooo much more to tell!!

The castle pictured really is where Jen went to school Herstmonceux Castle, South Sussex, England


Anonymous said...

Well I for one am very glad she stayed! We had such a fun year in the end!

- Jessica #1

Anonymous said...

SINCE you are waiting for the response, Suze, this was very informative! I knew Jen hated the castle at first but not that it was a hell on earth!!
Where is the rest of the story?? Will there be more of ME? Hahaha
-Jessica #1 (in real life, just not the internet)