Monday, 18 July 2016

When little girls grow up

Both of my daughters started at Uni last September. Both are now are with us as we take some family time. It is always a joy to see them. When they were tiny toddlers, I wanted them to see the world as a place of awe and wonder, with limitless opportunities for people with imagination. We used to cut out cartoon strips from the newspapers, colour them in and stick them in scrapbooks to show Grandma. We used to have 'midnight feasts' on the floor of the front room, with cakes, sweets and other goodies, on a Monday night when mummy was at band rehearsals. We'd read short stories from Oscar Wilde. We'd listen to Quicksilver Meesenger Service, and light candles. The girls didn't really like the music, but they'd enjoy the ritual of lighting the candles and putting out the treats. They knew when the album finished it was bed time, so they learned to make the most of the time. I'd take them to M&S and let them buy three treats each. My youngest daughter would insist we'd sit on her 'blankee' - a sheet my mother in law gave her. We'd also get a treat for Norman, our cat, who was allowed to join us for the feast (as mummy wasn't around). 
My daughters have fond memories of those times. But now they've grown up and I can't protect them from the world. I can't draw the curtains, light candles, buy sweeties, play hippie music and make there worries go away. Oh how I wish I could. Now they have to live with student loans, dodgy landlords and God knows what that goes on that they spare me the trauma of telling me.

And as for me, I am proud of my daughters and love them to death. Whereas when they were tiny tots, I wanted them to be fairy princesses living in a dream, now I want them to be streetwise, savvy, switched on, independent and resilient. When daughters grow up and are no longer Daddies little girls it is hard. But the fact we still love each other is a triumph in itself.

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