My not-so-little girl,
Life suddenly feels like an 80s video held down on scratchy fast-forward.
Sixteen years old and closing the door on school.
A grown woman still with the wide-eyed hope that adulthood is yet to fade.
A child who has had to be a woman,
The other parent,
An adult, not of your own choosing.
People tell me how hard I work.
They commend my solo efforts: my children, my home, my work. It is me, yes. But so much of it is you.
The practical help, yes,
But also the support you may not have even known you’ve been.
The conversation. The bedtimes for smaller children.
When I’ve been
To do it.
How you’d just put the pan on the hob and cook pasta.
How you’d come into my room to say goodnight.
How you’d laugh with (at) me,
And make me feel
Like I wasn’t failing.