Last night, in a determined effort to be out of the house while LCH hosted a study group at home, DarlingDaughter and I went to the cinema. L. refused Brokeback Mountain, on the grounds that our approach would be incompatible (I would try to take it seriously as a film while she was after the eye-candy), so we opted for Rumour Has It, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Nothing earth-shattering in any way, but perfect for a gently mindless Friday night escape. Except, at one moment I found myself weeping, quite unexpectedly.
Jennifer Aniston, in the grip of huge confusion about her roots and her future, stood in the teenager’s bedroom she’d long since left behind her, thinking about what might come next. The room was a familiar muddle of discarded cosmetics, china horses, rosettes for long passed gymkhanas, pictures of rock- stars cut from magazines…and it struck me that there will be a room just like that abandoned here next year.
What’s more, thanks to the nomadic nature of ministry, in 3 years time somewhere else will be home, and there will be no room at all that carries these echoes of L's childhood. I know there’s lots to be said for this, in many ways. No chance of creating an unhealthy shrine, or of pushing her automatically into a role she's thoroughly grown out of.
That's good, then.
But it still saddens me that we will have to make decisions about putting away, maybe even throwing away, childish things rather than letting them gently gather dust, till it feels appropriate, in the fulness of time, to make-over the room. I guess, like many mothers, I’m unprepared for just how quickly these children who’ve been loaned to us grow beyond us, try their wings and are on their way.
(At which point, sentiment is shattered as a cynical voice at the back of my mind interpolates "And probably in your car")