Sometimes they glitter, my people here. Sometimes, they shine.
I’m not sure my children understand the pressure I’m under here. I want to keep this blog going. I’m really enjoying writing it.
But I need material, and I rely on them to provide it.
The Very Precious Daughter (VPD), in particular, is supposed to be an endless source of tales of frustration, heart-ache, worry and financial ruin. And when it turned out that she would be with us for at least two weeks over Christmas – and when those two weeks started with her getting into a horrible situation when drunk, and then (in an unrelated incident) having her phone cut off because she hadn’t paid the bill – it was all looking so promising.
But she’s let me down. Ever since she arrived home she has been an absolute angel. She’s been engaging, thoughtful and kind. She bought everyone a present without a visit to the Bank of Dad. We’ve watched films together, made cocktails, and we’ve talked. She’s kept her room tidy, and she’s visibly pulled back more than once when all the signs were that the volcano of her emotions was about to explode.
I’m at my wits end – I really don’t know what I’m going to do if this carries on.
It’s also rubbed off on the others. We went out for a curry last week and as I walked home behind my children, I felt a sense of pride that made me feel like I was going to burst.
But at least I’m not alone in having to cope with this. My oldest and dearest friend also has a daughter of about the same age, who has put her parents through much the same kind of grief as the VPD (although I think she’s chosen drugs as her main theme). I only see my friend at this time of year, because he lives abroad. But he’s had a similar experience – his daughter has calmed down significantly as well.
One of the most difficult aspects of this being a parent thing is that nobody ever tells you what’s coming next.
P.S. The title is a (slight mis-) quote from Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson. One of the very best novels of the last twenty years, in my very humble opinion. If you want to laugh till you ache, and be moved till you weep, I would thoroughly recommend it.