NC has picked up this new job working as a medical secretary in between her uni studies. It gives her the extra cash to get riotously drunk at the weekends on the sort of expensive wine that I couldn’t afford until I was forty and an alcoholic, as well as an outlet to vent her anger at all those poor, sick people who stupidly assume that they can book appointments at the last minute.
Not on my daughter’s watch.
Yesterday, she walked up to me in her VERY sensible professional outfit of fugly sky-blue nylon, fitted corporate work-shirt and pencil skirt, (which is way, way beneath her normal hemline of her vagina), and the sight of my beautiful girl looking all grown up brought a lump to my throat. Or at least that’s what might have happened if NC and we were in some over-sentimental family rom-com. What really happened was that I burst out laughing like some deranged hyena, because that’s what I tend to do when I need to conceal my true emotions.
She looked confused and perplexed by my reaction.
But I wasn’t laughing because she looked bad in any way – although pleated knee length skirts, thick granny stockings and black flat lace up shoes are not particularly flattering on a twenty-year old – no, it was because for the first time I realised, (and everyone had warned me), that teenagers suddenly grow up when you least expect it). And I still can’t work out when that final piece of NC’s development happened exactly, because I swear that it was only last week that I was writing back to her in the guise of the tooth fairy.
So our future together looks different now – soon she’ll be offering to pay for her phone, will stop arguing with her brother about flushing the toilet in their bathroom and, GOD FORBID, she may even LEAVE HOME at some point.
Which leaves me with Kurt and the old man.
Not only is NC’s life about to change dramatically, but so is mine. You see, part of that nervous psychotic laughter in front of my daughter was to cover up my sadness that NC’s childhood is almost over, as she moves closer and closer to the responsibilities of the dark side.
And her childhood has been an ride – although the only real reminders of NC ‘the child’ these days, are the woeful state she still leaves her bedroom, that neat vegetable pile she always leaves on her dinner plate and the fact that she will still fight her brother physically and scream uncontrollably like a banshee when he doesn’t do what she wants him to.
But it’s been kind of fun living with my bestie these last few years; since she stopped being so needy. So I’ll miss her when she replaces me with some godawful man who she worships like a God or a new and exciting career, or when she finally makes the call that sharing a bathroom with her brother is too detrimental to her sanity.