Monday, 6 February 2012

A lot proud, a little sad

Last week we had a momentous moment (is that tautologous?). At a playgroup, as we sat in a circle singing some songs, my daughter, 13 months old, knew the actions to a song that I hadn't taught her.

Now I know that is what parents do - our job is to equip our children to explore, to become independent, to have experiences of their own, to acquire knowledge we do not have and to return home to condescend and patronise us. But as my daughter moved her hands in a physical interpretation of the word 'twinkle' as we sang about a diamond-like star, she looked at me as if to say 'ha, I know something you don't and what's more you didn't know I knew it', and I had to admit I hadn't thought it would happen quite so soon. And I was both very proud and a little bit sad.

One of my friends, a very wise woman, says the best way to think about it is as an invisible umbilical cord, or piece of elastic, that will forever be between you and your child. As they grow up it stretches and each time it stretches some more it hurts a little until you get used to the sensation. But you will forever be connected and you will always bounce back to each other, before bouncing off again.

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