the gift of wings

So.  The time has come.  It took 19 years and 11 months to get to this point.  It seems quite poignant that on the 26th of December it will be exactly 19 years and 11 months.  

The daughter child has now finished a year of intense, crazy hours, minimum sleep, maximum stress, sore feet, sore back, blisters and burns on a regular basis, long shifts, massive assignments, lots of research, hours and hours in the demonstration kitchen perfecting her skills and hours and hours in the restaurant kitchen at the Prue Leith Chefs Academy where she is a full time trainee chef. 

And then comes the practical placement.  6 months.  In which you get hand placed by the Executive Chef along with the HR Manager at Prue Leith, at a restaurant which suits your skills, temperament, work ethic etc for you to train under a Chef of note.  

She always wanted the Western Cape. That bastion of top restaurants and world class chefs.  And then the dream came true ..... she was placed at the Pot Luck Club.  A renowned restaurant at which the booking has now opened for July 2015 .... simply because they are full till then.  She joins as a 3rd Commi chef, starting on 27 December.  

So.  Am I glad?  Yes.  I am proud, boasting, impressed, wind knocked out of my sails about the dedication and sheer gutzpah she showed in what was a difficult year.  There is no student life, like at Varsity, when you study at a Chefs Academy.... no periods off,  only a tiny bit of time for socialising.  It is a training time of 12 to 18 hour days, including Saturdays, on your feet.  It is a career of having to come home at 1am and then still work on huge assignments and study.  It is a career where in every moment that you are not at the Academy you are trying to catch some sleep.  It is a career where in those hours you are there you grab 30 mins to wolf down your sandwich.  I watched her sacrifice so much in this time.  Outings with us, time to relax with us, literally all time to be with her friends.  But boy did she reap the benefits of her talent. 

So.  Am I glad?  No.  Because I am a mom.  Who has had Jess at home, sleeping in her room, for 19 years and 11 months.  Driving her around.  Having a TV buddy for midnight movies.  Waiting up for her to return from her shift.  Going for cappuccino at Abreu and doing the crossword puzzle on the odd Saturday she has off.  Going with her to the hairdresser while she tries the next colour.  Watching her hang out with her brother in either his or her room, laughing for hours.  Every birthday, every celebration, she was there.  Listening to that laugh of hers, that fills our house because it is so loud.  Sharing jewellery and perfume.  

It is only 6 months I know.  But that is 180 days.  And who knows what lies after that? 
So on 26 December, exactly one month before her 20th birthday, we will put her on a plane to CT, where she is very fortunately, going to stay with my mom-in law, sister-in-law and 2 cousins.  At least it will be more like home.  Getting all her luggage there is proving to be a whole other story :)

My hubby reminds me that this is the natural flow of life.  I could happily whack him. 

So as the poster says: 

Child:  "What if I fall?'
Mom:  "Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"

And you will.  I know.  Higher than you ever could have imagined. 

till very soon
c'est la vie  xxx

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