Co-habiting with adult offspring

28th April


Our children left home years ago. From time to time they floated back to restore order to the bank balance, the broken heart or to garner the courage for the push into the next adventure. But when Brian got sick they both moved home immediately and now here we all are, trapped in a weird little nuclear family still functioning well beyond its use-by date.  And we need to find peaceful ways to live together while we are all under great stress. No small task for us all. I love having them home and imagine it would be very isolating and lonely without them, but there are unique challenges to making this operation function (oops slipping back to corporate-speak – read - bloody hard for us all).

I can annoy them without even uttering a word; just a certain look apparently. And then there are the things that come out of my mouth, unbidden and certain to irritate that I wish I could take back the second they emerge.

Why don’t you take a coat? Where were you last night? Don’t you think you should go to bed and get an early night?  If you eat that you will be as fat as me when you’re old.

I see the eye rolling behind my back and also know perfectly well I am being fed censored information but take it on the chin for peace. I see the looks that pass between them – oh no she is starting again! I have seen that same look on the face of my friend Julie when describing her burdensome and irritating parents, I guess it was on my face once. Somehow I have to make the switch from “mother knows best” to “mother knows nothing”.

 I found this bookmark the other day which had written on it: “By the time a man realises that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong”. Charles Wadsworth -   It says it all about coming to grips with your children as adults in their own right.

But oh what wonderful adults they have turned out to be. They are both so strong, and patient and kind. Reuben can make anything (including Banoffee Pie), fix anything, is eternally cheerful and his heart is a pulsating mass of pure molten gold. And Laura, with the delicate exterior and the hidden will of polished steel, who fits in, keeps the peace, and has sublimated her career and her future to spend this time with her father and to support me. Who could be so lucky? As I have said before, this journey has brought much joy.

But what I want to know is how come the washing gets put into the washing machine but never pulled out of it? Why do dishes languish on the bench when the dishwasher is full? What is it with the Kardashians? How do I end up with expensive beauty products in the supermarket trolley and paying for food that I have never heard of before?  And why do they have to stay up so late?  Peace and love. L