Small daughter and I went for a walk the other evening.
It wasn’t planned; it was her turn to take the dog for a walk and she was grumpy because she didn’t want to so she’d left it all day until it was nearly dark. I was cross because she’d left it until it was nearly dark so I didn’t want her to go alone – but I had other things that I needed to do.
She was rude, I was shouty. It wasn’t the best atmosphere.
And then suddenly, we were friends again. Small daughter is missing her friends – this surprised me as they seem to be on the phone to each other all the time, but she said that’s just the normal after-school communication (as you will probably know if you have a teenager) and it’s the face-to-face connection that she’s missing. This was another surprise as whenever I see them all together, they’re all still on their phones but I would probably have been the same at their age if I’d had that hand-held portal to the world and – let’s be honest, however much we love our families, our friends bring an extra dimension to our lives that I am sure we are all missing.
I felt like I understood my girl so much more then. I understood how her experience of all of this is so different to mine, and I wished that I could wave a magic wand to fix it for everybody. Ah, if only we all had a magic wand sometimes!
Instead, we watched Nature perform some magic of her very own. We watched the sky blaze like fire behind the trees. We watched it warm the ancient stones of the church, turning them pink, and we watched as bats dipped and swooped as the sun finally disappeared below the horizon. The credit for these photos is all small daughter’s, and I am glad that we saw the magic together.