Life is a series of ever more frequent losses; part of me will even miss the Maybot and her red lines
I had always naively imagined that parenting would get easier the older the children got. And in many mundane ways it has. I no longer have to worry so much about keeping them alive, about making sure they have done their homework or whether they are happy at university. They are now their own people, making their own decisions and sometimes even telling us what they are. Parenting has moved from practical problems to existential ones. Our daughter, who was over from Minneapolis for the first time in six months to direct a play at the Latchmere theatre in London, has gone back home. Her home. I find that hard to imagine because part of me still thinks of our home as her home. But it isn’t. She has moved on, even if I haven’t. My wife and I are no longer such key figures in her life. Not that she doesn’t love us, but we are no longer as important as we once were. Which is as it should be. If she was still living with us at 27, we’d all be driving one another mad. And for the most part, I have got used to the 4,000-mile distance between us, but having had her back for three weeks I feel bereft once more – despite the towels no longer being left on the floor. This is my new reality of getting older. A series of ever more frequent losses, each one diminishing me a little more. Until the rest is silence.