I’ve just spent the last week with my family until Xmas. My family is changing a lot at the moment after my parent’s separation, as you would expect.
A brief illustration of the characters of my family
Dad: One case of jaundice away from being Homer Simpson’s real life incarnation
Mum: Just 50 but has a 2nd degree black belt in TaeKwonDo
Chris: Owns hair far more violently ginger than mine. I’m surprised he hasn’t been stolen and sold for scrap with soring copper prices.
Dad has bought himself a wee house now that he’s moved out. It is such an entropic masterpiece of chaos that I adore it, mainly because it signifies a reversal of positions in life. For years my parents nagged me about my untidiness and now it is my turn to nag them!
This got me thinking about how my relationship with parents has changed over the years.
When I was young I was convinced that they were robots sent back from the future to make sure any sort of potential for joy was neutralised. Like The Terminator, but more mundane and with less muscles. Their arsenal of methods included: enforced vegetable consumption, early bedtimes and shoe shopping under duress. The brutality.
However, as I got older I realised that my parents were…dare I say it?…Human. That once they were young and had dreams, ambitions…and dodgy haircuts (a particular one of my Dad’s moustache springs to mind… No doubt, if I have children, they’ll be cringing at pictures of my old ponytail in years to come).
That’s the thing about parents; you’re always out of sync with them, they’re always a stage ahead of you so you can never properly empathise with them. Like you’re a sine curve and they’re a cosine, always out of phase, rarely ever the same value. That’s one thing I would have loved to have seen, my parents at my age, before they accumulated that wisdom and assurance in life that separates you from them.
Discussing life matters with your parents; 90% of the time it’s like going to the cinema with someone who’s already seen the film. They know the ending and how it will probably pan out. And knowing the ending makes everything in life boring. I’m sure you’ll all have heard the immortally infamous line “I Told You So” at some point from your beloved folks. I do think as I get older I can appreciate them more though, as I accumulate more life experience and have more shared experiences and you come to understand how they were moulded through the phases of life. Just as the same is happening to you.
Moving to the future, it is now only 4 days until I leave for Germany. 4 days. 96 hours. And only today did I receive confirmation that I’ll have somewhere to live. Meaning I won’t be forced to live in a cardboard box, selling my teeth for use in the production of tiny piano keys or have to subject myself to some sort of medical testing, like having the head of another human conjoined to me, in order to survive day to day.