Today was the first day of holidays; by that I mean the first day that I should have gone to work and I have to say, not the day that I had imagined as my first day of holidays. My daughter, L, who has long since left childhood behind is currently in an ‘at home’ phase of her life cycle of living at home, not living at home, living at home…. She participated in ‘Spartan Race’ in Sydney on Saturday and came home yesterday with a broken arm. Today has been challenging as L has gotten back in touch with her inner child, the unreasonable inner child that needs events such as a broken arm to re-surface. I love L dearly and we do actually get on extremely well but today has been a challenge!
Today’s challenge has gotten me thinking about how navigating the minefield that is our own child’s childhood and adolescence is an extremely stressful time. It brought back memories of some very interesting times, times that we look back on as a family and laugh loudly, challenging times, great times, times that stretched us all to almost breaking points, times that added together have produced the exceptional young people that I am proud to claim as my children. Today’s brief journey has me appreciating how mostly predictable life is with twenty-something children.
We are looking forward to dinner this evening when my husband G will meet L’s partner J for the first time. J has been a part of our family for some months now but by virtue of his and G’s fly-in, fly-out living arrangements, they have never found themselves in the same city before. G is interesting when his little girl is concerned. He is a good balance of ‘welcome’ and ‘don’t you dare mess with my daughter’. It is especially interesting in this instance because J has established himself in the family without G being around. G has just come home….
They are sitting in the lounge room at the moment, beers in hand sizing each other up. I am typing at the dining table and I have to say, it sounds as though all is going well. J is telling G all about his job. I wonder how they would feel if they knew that they are the subject of my post this evening. L is there with them and she is silent. She is letting them establish what we all hope will be J’s long term position in our family.
It is a huge relief to have both L and S happy in their lives and their relationships. I love nothing more than sitting down as a family and enjoying a meal together. It is the time that I miss G the most when the rest of us sit down together but he is working away. This evening is one with promise. I love the feeling of expectation when I just know everything is going to go well!