Too much going on

While the early years may seem busy, life can get busier as young people get older and families change…



At some points in life there is just too much going on. I thought there was a lot going on when my kids were younger, but now I feel that was the easier time. Nowadays, everyone has their own agenda and timetable and it is hard to keep a handle on it all.

One daughter is home from university and seems to live on an entirely different timescale to the rest of us, generally getting up in the early afternoon and only starting her day in earnest in the evening when the local bus service has stopped. The other is burning the candle at both ends, working round the clock and rehearsing and travelling, but in need of a lift at odd times of the day.

Only son has gone from wallflower to full-blown Goth overnight, complete with rings, studded belts and oversized coat. He looks very cool, but he is not exactly communicative. The other day I walked with him to Euston to pick up daughter two and he refused point blank to walk beside me. Instead he hovered behind my shoulder, like a stalker. It seems only yesterday that he was my biggest [only] fan. Time is such a strange thing – all the trees and buildings more or less look the same, yet we are all changing and changed constantly.

My partner has been in Spain visiting a relative who is fading away. It’s very painful to watch a person disappear right in front of you and more so when you don’t see them often and each time you see them you don’t know if you will ever see them again. Meanwhile, my brother is coming back from 16 years on the other side of the world, by boat because of a fear of flying, which dates back to our childhood. Back then he would read me the details of all the plane accidents as we flew together, unaccompanied, to visit our dad.

Last week was the anniversary of our daughter’s funeral. We just keep going somehow. Maybe all the busyness is what keeps us moving through time. I find myself walking around the house and wondering what it will be like without me in it. Just the same, I guess. The fact that the wardrobe in our room will outlive me seems bizarre.

Maybe everyone in our family is doing more or less the same thing – relentlessly trying to keep busy in their own way. When I’m not working – and I’m working most of the time – I’m driving people around. The next two weeks work is going into overdrive. At the same time we have training for the charity I set up and only son has just announced he’s in a music festival thing at school. This is definitely to be encouraged as, up until now, he hasn’t wanted to do anything extra-curricular ever.

I think he’s beginning to enjoy school a little more and the turn to Goth-dom is at the very least an expression of greater confidence. This from the boy who preferred any non-speaking part in primary school plays so he could fade into the background… What’s more, my brother was heavily into the Sisters of Mercy so the two of them can confer. In a way, although time keeps moving, it constantly retreads old ground.

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