Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Fathers and daughters

Comune di RomaImage via WikipediaGirl Fourteen called me from Rome on Skype (the peeps they're staying with have had their phone lines disconnected because they're coming home) and I think I was short with her. Not short as in curt, but short as in I was already going, I'd better let you go before she'd given me any sign I was boring her.

I thought I was being helpful. Like, I appreciate you calling me but look, feel free to go back to whatever it was you'd rather do. I think I just misjudged. But I'm worried now in case she feels snubbed. Imagine if she thinks I had something else I had to get back to.

Being a parent is like walking a tightrope that has no end, and no end at the other end, either, just all middle, and a fiery pit under you. And you set off to walk it wearing clown-shoes made of carpet-slipper material. And there's never any going back, or changing shoes, or turning around.

I wish there were some way I could tell my mother: I get it now. I get it. I see. But she'd be like, what do you know, you're only a boy. I'm still only a boy for her. That's the entire parenthood paradox right there.

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