There are large white tents being erected on the lawns of the campus. The schedules have been drawn up. The powerpoints from last year are being updated. Yes, it's Open Day again.
For the last couple of years I've done the little presentations to prospective students: this year I'm just on one of the desks on Sunday. They are predicting a mild and sunny day, which is a great relief as it is often cold and miserable in the tents (I don't know why they put us in a tent: there are some perfectly nice buildings on campus...).
When we sit behind the desks (and sometimes, we have to stand in front of desks because there are no chairs; or stand at naff little high bar-style tables, though without a spicy Victorian shiraz for company), we are often highly amused at the pushy parents who march their reluctant children up to talk to us. "She's very interested in creative writing, aren't you, Susie?" they say. Or "And what jobs can he do with an Arts degree?" We like it when the students come along by themselves, actually.
Undeterred, however, I have said I can only do a late afternoon shift on Sunday because I am going down to the Victorian College of the Arts with Joel. I will try very hard to stay in the background and not ask questions at the information session. I will try very hard not to speak for my son and will try not to tell them how talented he is and how hard he works. But it's going to be tough. I have already perused the various music webpages, and came perilously close to logging in as if I were Joel to the "Customize your Open Day" experience page.
In my mind I am almost reconciled to acknowledging he is ready to make his own decisions about his future; and to manage his own path through these last eighteen months of school. But it is still hard to let go. I'm going to try not to blog too much about this other person's life here, but it does also feel like a transitional moment in mine, too! Let's hope it doesn't get too ugly on Sunday.