THIS is the moment I have been waiting for, for 25 years. My eldest son has just moved into his first ‘proper home’ with his girlfriend. And he’s invited us to stay.

Since he started working, he’s lived in shared houses, where he’s had a bedroom and squalid communal living areas.

We’ve occasionally paid a brief visit, politely declined the offer of a cup of tea from a dirty cup and suggested we eat out in a nearby restaurant. It’s probably best not to dwell on the shared student houses he lived in before that, in case it makes readers feel queasy over breakfast.

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Up until recently, he and his post graduate student girlfriend had been sharing a perfectly fine, but cramped one-bedroom furnished flat in university halls, with barely enough room for us all to stand and have a cup of coffee.

Now, at last, they have found an attractive unfurnished two-bedroom flat to rent, complete with two whole bedrooms, a large kitchen and dining room. They’ve even bought their first sofa, bed, table and chairs.

When his girlfriend sent us a photograph of our son out mowing the lawn, it almost brought tears to my eyes. “They’ve got a lawnmower,” I said to my husband: “He really is a grown up now.”

And then my son asked: “Would you like to come and stay? There’s plenty of room.”

There are two reasons I have been longing for this moment for so long. The first is that, as parents, this has to be our ultimate goal. We give birth, raise our children, then slowly edge them, however reluctantly, out of the house, while encouraging them to go and make a life for themselves without us.

Secondly, after years of welcoming my fledging youngsters back with open arms whenever and for however long they have wished to stay, whether as students home for the holidays or young men seeking a brief respite from the world of work, I have fantasised about returning the favour. Which means behaving exactly as my sons do when they come back to stay.

On arrival at my eldest son’s new home, this would entail:

Rushing straight to the fridge, opening it, staring inside and announcing: “Why is there no decent food in this house?” while simultaneously finishing off the orange juice and putting the empty carton back in the fridge.

Inviting a gang of our friends, who also descend on the fridge like locusts, to stay without notice, telling our hosts: “Don’t worry, they’ll be fine sleeping on the floor. Chill.”

Going to the fridge again and digging into a home-made dessert, intended for tonight’s dinner, washed down with what’s left of the milk.

Tramping all over the cream living room carpet in muddy trainers after kicking a football about in the garden, then appear baffled by where the mud marks have come from: “It wasn’t me.”

Going back to the fridge to stare inside it again before helpfully announcing to the hosts, with just a hint of irritation in my voice: “There’s no milk left.”

Thoughtfully leaving wet towels and dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, so that my hosts can find them easily when they come to do the laundry. In the meantime, I’ll help myself to their clean socks.

After enjoying a game of keepy-uppy with the muddy football in the kitchen, informing my hosts, “I think it’s time you bought a new teapot. It just got in the way of the ball. Why did you leave it sitting out on the work surface anyway? ”

Assuming my hosts will have encyclopedic knowledge of all my belongings, which are now strewn around their home. I will, with an air of exasperation, repeatedly ask: “Where are my black jeans?” and “What have you done with my little silver earrings?”

Just before we leave, informing them we need a lift to the railway station: “Oh, and can we have some money for our rail tickets?”

And it doesn’t end there. After we’ve gone, they’ll find our mould encrusted plates and mugs, along with bits of half-eaten pizza and rotten banana skins, under the bed.

But of course, I won’t do any of the above. After all, I do want to be invited back…