As per usual I have been lying in bed enjoying the space and thinking about stuff. I have plenty of ideas to write about and I decided that once brain saturation occurs (measured by the ability to remember all the items that have popped in brain) I need to get up and be pro-active (as they used to say when I worked, never hear anyone say anti-active though). I have been looking forward to this day because it is Saturday and everybody else in the household is going out. My wife is going for a long walk with friends. My daughter is heading to Glasgow and Comic Con. Our Japanese Visitor is heading off to Edinburgh with her college. Today is a day for myself; a day for writing when I am able or doing something else like watching tele or listening to music when I am not.
There is a snag in this scenario; my daughter hasn’t left yet. I am in the kitchen when she appears, “so there you are”; she has been hunting for me, time to switch from self-indulgence to parenting mode. There are a lot of things spinning around her head and she is need of reassurance and advice. As she spills out the contents of her worries, I can remember myself saying similar things when I was an adolescent too.
She needs money for the train, my wife has forgotten to give her any and thankfully I have a twenty pound note in my wallet. She hasn’t bought a train ticket before and wants to know exactly what to say. I pair it down to “A weekend child return to Glasgow” and we practise saying it a few times. Next she wants to know how to return something to a shop. I reassure her it is quite straightforward and that she needs to go to the shop with the item and receipt and go back to the till she bought it from. She queries me about going to the customer service counter and I say that is probably right. I check that she paid in cash. She holds her arms out for a hug and I oblige, that is not something I would have done as an adolescent.
She says she is feeling sad and my heart sinks a bit before realising that she is expressing this sadness and receiving some support for it. I point out that she is anxious about a few things so it is not surprising she feels a bit sad but she corrects me, she is feeling sad because she didn’t have enough sleep last night being still awake at 1am. She mentions money again, apparently my wife gives our eldest money to buy food for our youngest when she stays there; I say I am sure Eldest will be fine and I can always reimburse her for any expenses later. Youngest mentions she is not feeling so great, her nose is runnier this morning. I have noticed her cough and wondered if it is getting worse myself, I mention that her nose could be the dust in her room and she agrees she must hoover it again.
We have another hug and I say that she will be fine, that I know she is anxious and I would be there if I could. She tells me that I don’t need to be there but that I could drive her to Glasgow. I acknowledge that I could but that after a busy week I am needing a day to myself so I am not going to; she seems to understand. She goes off doing things and I ponder upon the plans I had for writing being pushed aside by the resonances my daughter has triggered in me. I decide to write down the list of ideas I had on a spare bit of paper (advertising digital hearing aids) as a compromise between starting writing and supporting number three child. She wants to know if it is going to rain and I say that it probably is though I don’t know the forecast in Glasgow. Should she take a coat then, how windy is it? I look out the window and decide it isn’t too windy so suggest taking an umbrella; she already has one packed. It looks like it might be raining when she leaves.
All my children can get anxious about doing new things and with parents like theirs it isn’t really surprising but what impresses me about them is their determination to do things anyway. I love it that they are emotionally aware of themselves and can also express that; something that I am still battling with. Child number three will be the first member of my family that I know of that will be dressing up and going to Comic Con and I think that is brilliant; I can imagine it is a lot of fun.