There are certain times in a parent’s life when you see a definite shift in your relationship with your kids.
You know the sort of thing…when your twelve year old daughter gets pregnant and runs away with a forty three year old circus hand from Wakefield. Thankfully, (touches wood, and I don’t mean anything smutty here) we haven’t come close to anything of such magnitude, but still this week a less shocking wake up call caught me off guard.
I have talked previously about Emily’s boyfriend, and my extreme regret that I did not hate him. Well, sadly this relationship came to an end this week, and I had to endure the sight of Emily’s upset, knowing that no amount of kind words, tea and sympathy would make any difference. There are no pills for a broken heart! This sort of event has really snuck up on me, as in my mind Emily is still a little girl. I appreciate that most fourteen year olds have a drug habit, mixed race child and a council house these days, but Emily is (perhaps in my rose tinted view) still a young fourteen year old.
So landmark events like a break up can bring home the reality that –
a) I am getting old
b) The girls are too, and are developing their own lives.
However, other very small things can also hit home too. On Thursday the girls went to Manchester, on the train, on their own, straight from school. Not a life changer, I admit, and indeed they have been before under their own steam, but I don’t know why but this sort of cemented the fact that they are quite capable of reading a time table, and not falling beneath a train!!
Anyway, they went to attend a signing at a record shop. They met All Time Low and The Blackout. As some sort of weird contradiction, I have indeed heard of both of these, and can even claim to have some ATL (see, I talk in abbreviations I am so hip) on my iPod. As I was driving home from work on Thursday I sent them both a text to
a) make sure they were still alive
b) see how they were getting on
Rebecca called me back. Well, I think it was Rebecca, as that is the name my phone showed me. The voice on the other end was somewhat drowned out by a thousand pubescent girls screaming random names. Rebecca herself spoke to me in a voice so high one of my ear drums burst. Just as I thought she could not get any higher she moved up a gear, in both pitch and volume, I think, telling me something about (insert name of ATL lead singer) saying “Hi” and telling her he liked her T Shirt.
Emily, being all cool, replied to my text in abbreviations I’m not sure I fully understood to tell me she had met The Blackout and they had all signed her schoolbag. I am writing to their management to request a full reimbursement!!!
Anyway, back to the small event….you remember???
After picking them up at the train station (and dropping their friend off, why is it always us who do all the running round???) I stopped at the local chip shop so they could get a healthy and nutricious meal. On auto pilot I park up and start to get out of the car. At the same time they did the same, and look at me in a ‘We are quite capable of getting our own chips” way.
So they did, and as I watched them cross the road, and walk to the shop I realised
a) just how tall they are getting
b) that I almost didn’t recognise them with their masses of hair, fringe and that loping teenager walk.
So after realising that my worth to them is diminishing with every day, and planning just when to get my mid life crisis sports car delivered, I consoled myself with the fact that twenty four hours earlier I had sat on Emily’s bed, with her hugging me tightly whilst the tears flowed. Emily was also quite upset about her break up, and I didn’t cry for too long!!!
So maybe my usefulness is just changing. No longer do I need to change nappies full of brightly coloured nuclear waste, and wander zombie like into the kitchen, in just my underwear, at some silly hour to warm a bottle of milk. However, I do run a decent taxi service, can (almost) fund their dizzying social life, and every now and again be a shoulder to cry on when disaster strikes.
So I’ll keep doing that until I have to remortgage the house to fund their weddings (in Florida….it is my only condition), and hunt down and destroy any other spotty little herbert who thinks he has the right to break either of their hearts. Frankly, there isn’t a boy in existence worthy of either, so good luck trying lads. I’ll be watching.
Till the next time……