The Adult Child

I’m the mother of an adult, and it feels weird. I’m sure I’m not old or responsible enough.

My Daughter, Dearest is almost nineteen and has been at university for the last year, rarely coming home, and has been living independently all summer in a different city. She’s come to meet us on holiday for a few days and I’ve noticed small things; I don’t recognise any of her clothes – I have not been involved in their purchase or seen her wearing them before – and she talks about household chores like cleaning, shopping and cooking with confidence, and I’m aware she’s referring to her own household, not mine. She arrived yesterday, cooked dinner for 6 people on her own, then put her brothers to bed for me. Wow, I’ve missed her!

However, this morning I realised that despite being an independent adult, she’s also still my child. I went for a shower and warned the younger two that I would be unavailable for ten whole minutes and they were not to come barging in or start shouting me for things during that short time. Neither of them looked up from their iPads so I reckoned I was safe. But only a few minutes after getting into the shower there was a hammering on the door.

‘Mum!’

‘What?’

Bang, bang. ‘Muuuuuuum!’

‘WHAT?’

Some mumbling from the other side of the door which I couldn’t make out because of the noise of the shower and fan. I stuck my shampoo-coated head out of the shower and, discerning it was the Adult Child, could at least let rip with a, ‘for fuck’s sake, WHAT?’

The door opened. ‘I’ve forgotten my toothpaste, can I borrow yours?’

It’s nice to be needed for something I guess.

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