Oh, how much has happened since my last post. We’ve moved house, seen the kids put down new roots and watched the baby start speeding round the place. I’ve made more new friends in the last two months than I did in the last two years. I’ve starting watching Breaking Bad. J’s discovered my passion for spray-painting junk shop furniture, along with my inability to adequately prepare the area first. We’ve begun using a slow cooker.
In the wider family, my dad’s become more ill. From a simple tumble, to a treatable cancer, to two cancers, to a progressive neurological condition, the good news just keeps on failing to come. Despite having three kids, a mortgage and a marriage certificate, I - like most people in privileged, comfortable lives - feel like my age flatlined somewhere between 17 and 24, depending on my current mood. But with hospital appointments, medical jargon and his shrinking, shrinking prognoses, I’m having a juddering, breakneck rush into adulthood. Is adulthood simply what we say when we mean tough? Maybe. And how lucky I am that I’ve got to my thirties before feeling this way.
But this state is an earthquake, causing shake ups and shake downs and aftershocks; every time it seems that we’ve absorbed one bit of news, there’s more. It doesn’t stop, and from here on in, it’s not likely to. Such is life. There are cracks running through our family that will doubtless grow into ravines, and there’s a temptation to disappear, opt out.
More than saying I do, or pushing out some kids, or signing a document, however, this is an adulthood, and I’m engaging with it. The daughter in me says I need to, the human in me says it’s the good thing to do, and the writer in me whispers helpfully to me from the side of her mouth that, as with all these terrible things, it’s great material. You would not believe how much that final idea has helped me through tough moments in the past.
So off we go. The kindness of you all helps like you wouldn’t believe. Here’s hoping I can carry a bit of that light over to my parents.