I was absolutely convinced, when I woke up on the morning of my thirteenth birthday, that the world was going to be different. Having officially become a Teenager, there was going to be a change that would be so noticeable that my life would never be the same again. Sadly, when I opened my eyes on my birthday morning, I felt exactly the same. No big fanfares, no lightning bolts to herald the arrival of my teenage years, and nothing (apart from presents and birthday cake) that made me any different from how I had been the day before.
I couldn’t tell you when exactly it was that things did seem different. When I left school? Started my first job? Got married? Had my children? The face that looks back at me in the mirror is older, but I couldn’t tell you when exactly I knew that the world really was different. There was no defining moment, it happened as softly as a sunset turning to twilight.
Which brings me back to this Musing. On Friday night, my husband and I were supposed to be going out for the evening - concert tickets that I had bought for him as a Christmas present and an overnight stay in a city hotel where the concert was being held. Unfortunately, earlier in the week, my husband hurt his back and by the evening of the concert we knew that he wouldn’t be able to go. There was no refund on the room or the tickets and not wanting to see them unused, my husband had an idea.
I went to the concert with a young woman. She’s stylish, beautiful, has a taste for adventure and a great sense of humour. She was fun to spend the evening with; we talked about all kinds of things and laughed at the most ridiculous stuff, and although I wished that my husband could have come too, he was happy knowing that the evening hadn’t been wasted.
My friend? None other than big daughter, now old enough to appreciate nights out, share bottles of wine and have conversations that don’t involve homework or whether she’s spending too much time on social media. Instead, we talk now about things we have in common, we watch films that we can both enjoy (that aren’t made by Disney), we go to gym classes together and my baby is no longer a baby. When did that happen? When did she become that person instead of the little girl she had been (it seems like) just a few years before? Was it when she left school? Went trekking in Peru? Started at university? There was no big fanfare, no lightning bolt to herald the change; one day I just opened my eyes and there was my daughter – and my friend. And the best thing of all is that she wants to be my friend as well as my daughter, and I am very proud to call her that. I’m a very lucky Mum.