In late September 1983, Scott and I were awaiting the birth of our first child. My parents, anxious to see their first grandchild, were staying with us in our tiny, tiny University of British Columbia family housing unit. The former WW II hut was less than 40 feet x 40 feet – I’m not exaggerating! With four people, there was so little floor space, we had to turn sideways to get past each other. Although in my case, as you can see below, turning sideways didn’t increase the amount of space available to pass by me!
The close quarters were made more uncomfortable by the fact that the much anticipated newborn was taking his time about making an appearance and it looked like my parents were never going to leave. The due date of September 25 came and went, and the little beast was not born until October 19 – forced out into the world by Caesearian section.
That event foreshadowed our parenting experience with Robin to date. No rushing towards independence on Robin’s part as Scott and I waited with frustrated anticipation for far longer than we would have expected.
In August this year, Robin successfully completed his LL.M. That was after taking almost five years to complete his B.Com. and two years in Edinburgh to gain an LL.B., followed by a year converting his Scottish law degree to an English law degree and another year working on an English legal professional programme, which was then followed by his condensed master’s degree studies. Now, in September 2010, after almost twenty seven years since his birth, costs too numerous to tally and many unheeded words of advice from his parents, Robin finally started working in a paid position.
To become a lawyer in England, in Robin’s case, a solicitor, he has to perform two years of a training contract with a law firm. As a “trainee”, he isn’t in the high income bracket, but he is earning a salary from a large and well respect London law firm, which will pay for all his (reasonable) living expenses — no small feat given the cost of living in London. And to the delight of his parents, the end of requests for cash should cease, at least, cease to be made on a regular basis.
So, Scott and I take off today to see how Robin is faring after his first few weeks of work at his firm, Ashurst. We’re hoping he won’t yet be too busy to spend time with us on the weekends when we will be in London. And while he works during the week, we’ll be visiting Bath and for the second week, Bordeaux. We’re looking forward to attending theatre, watching an English Premier League football match, viewing some architecture, visiting museums, imbibing some wine (okay, a lot of wine), savouring some good food and best of all, seeing a gainfully employed son.