Return of the Daughter

2 years of eldest-daughter-less-ness and I realise that I’d forgotten what the reality of having another adult female in the house was like…

I’d forgotten what it felt like to find that your favourite shoes have ‘disappeared’; to find that every pair of tights you pick from your drawer is mysteriously laddered; to reach for your new perfume to find it nearly finished; to resent (deeply) the fact that she looks better in my new t-shirt than I ever could…
She hogs my laptop. Because her laptop screen is ‘dodgy’. I play ‘hunt the hairdryer’ every morning – because, not only is it never where I’ve been able to reach for it for the last two years, it’s also never in the same place twice… I’ve a sore eye because she’s clearly been using my good clinique mascara. She feels it is compulsory to pass comment (negative) on how I look just before I step out of the door.
She’s evicted sanguine middle boy (all 6’4″ of him) from ‘her’ room. And already the detritus (which I now recall used to have us both fighting mad with one another) has begun to build up….
It’s now that I realise what I have missed these last two years. How empty the house has felt. How being able to lay your hands on a whole pair of tights before you leave for work is just too too easy. How her masculinised bedroom seemed like a slap every time I went upstairs.
Yes, she’ll go again. And probably sooner than I’d want. That’s as it should be. And this time I’ll help her find a suitable place – though until then I’ll bite my too-quick tongue when I’m about to scold about tights or mess or make-up. I’ve realised – cliche of cliches – that life is too short; that children are a gift; that time passes all too quickly; that cherishing and loving is the best part of parenthood…

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