It has been twenty two years since my best friend from my days at school left me. He didn’t leave only me though; he left his mother, father and sister too. He left all the other friends and acquaintances he had made through his thirty three years. If there’s one thing that is a certainty in life apart from death and taxes, it is that all things eventually come to an end, all things pass away making all things become new, or at least different. Change happens.
Life doesn’t stop just because one of us leaves or moves away. In the midst of feelings of loss and inadequacy there is an adjustment to the new phase that has been foist upon us. I note that the loss I experience is not in my friend who left, but in me. He doesn’t have the same feelings as those he left behind, as his journey is to another place and although there might well be some regret in leaving those people and places behind, we all know what it is like heading off on holiday and driving to the airport to catch a flight to foreign climes. There is barely a thought for those who are left at home or at work. As the scenery changes, eyes that once gazed upon familiar surroundings are now viewing very different places where new adventures are waiting to be had.
Parenting isn’t easy. I am, for a while, a single parent as M has, in her infinite wisdom, left me. I am alone; cast adrift and prone to all the spume and wabe that managing a house and home can throw at me. The bananas for the packed lunches didn’t arrive in the weekly delivery of shopping, so I have been out to the shop myself to buy some. I know! Shopping isn’t one of my favourite pastimes and doing it alone isn’t what I would call fun!
First there is the parking space to find. Not too close to any other car, as I am in no mood today to converse with the driver who, while attempting to fit into a space that is obviously inadequate for their particular mode of transportation, uses my car to find the extremities of their own. What is it with people who can’t park properly? Mirrors and spatial awareness classes should be mandatory when learning to drive a vehicle.
Secondly is the chore of finding the bananas. Who shelves bananas with the vegetables rather than the fruit?
Thirdly is the queue with the great unwashed. I am amazed by the pyjama wearing shoppers who consider that at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, bed clothes are the correct attire in which to go to the shops. Did they look in the mirror before leaving home and say, “Yes, I am fit to meet others while dressed in this robe”? Where are the fashion police when you need them? And kindly refrain from sneezing in my direction, as I have no wish to contract whatever it is that you are apparently so desirous of sharing with all and sundry.
Fourthly, (and thank goodness for one glimmer of helpful change in this society), the contactless payment. I don’t have to touch anything! I can leave and extract myself from a car parking space that has dramatically decreased in size since I parked there a few minutes previous.
Finally home, I prepare to cook dinner. In fact, the dinners for the whole week are planned in advance so that doing the weekly grocery shop is cost effective rather than purchasing unnecessary fruit and vegetables that are then not consumed, consigned to the waste bin as they are now a nanosecond past their sell by date. However, it is unnecessary for me to slave over a hot stove to make multiple different dinners for children who don’t like peas, or cheesy mash, or pizza, as I have just been informed that dinner is not required as G is going out and won’t be back until late. So now I sit at home and worry whether he is safe, clock watching until he is home. Who said being a parent, single or as a team, is easy? No one, EVER!
I miss M. It has only been a day, yet the house is quiet. The wash bin should be empty but it’s not. My ability to function is impaired as I try to think what would she say or do. I now have to fend for myself and for the children, alone. Hats off to all the single parents out there! You are superheroes!
Change. On a daily or even momentary basis, we live with change. Inevitably change is imposed upon each of us to one extent or another. We like and approve of some changes but hate and fight tooth and claw against others. Change can affect us in good and bad ways, but it is impossible to prevent change from happening. If we didn’t have change, we would never grow up and leave home to set out on our own path through this crazy life, to survey all that is out there for us. If change didn’t happen, nothing would be invented, nothing challenged, no frontiers explored, nothing tried or proved. If change brings anything positive, it is that aspect of evolution that moves us from uninformed infancy to educated maturity. Change can teach us to roll with it, to move, to not let moss grow on us, to thrive, to improve, to succeed.
Change comes to us all. We have to deal with it as best we can. M is in another place seeing different sights and addressing different issues. I know that she will return in a few days, changed by what she has seen and witnessed.
How will I cope in her absence? I have to embrace change and –
Carry on regardless!