A few nights ago I had a phone call from Bee. (She’s 20 now remember, and lives in London – who’d have thought I could have a 20 year old daughter when I only feel about 23?! You’d think there would be some sort of law or test or something.)
Bee was having a bit of a panic, and had phoned me for some moral support. My tactic in these sort of situations, after some soothing deep breathing, is to try and get the other person to laugh. To me, laughter feels like such an important thing – if you can still laugh about something, even when you’re in distress or despair, then that must be a good thing. Unfortunately for the person I am ‘supporting’, I sometimes accidentally laugh at them, which is probably less helpful, but I always mean it in a friendly way, to try and get them to see a slightly lighter side of a situation.
So, once Bee was chuckling a little bit, we tried to come up with a fun activity for her to do that would distract her from worrying about her arm feeling numb, and give her something to focus on. I love that quote about always having your diaries to hand for something interesting to read, so she had a flick through, and confirmed that she did often say hilarious things. I set her the challenge to read through the archives, and pick out some of the funniest, sweetest or most random things she could find.
“Will you put it in a blog post?” she asked.
I paused, worried that I had become the sort of parent whose children felt they couldn’t say anything without it being documented.
“I hope you do,” she added.
So I did.
In-between literary theory notes: “Rhubarb – in a pan with sugar honey ginger raspberries. Greek yoghurt. Granola.”
“Before I use the brown sauce I have to lick the bottle, every single time without fail.”
Under the heading “What did you learn from leading the workshop?” – “I learned that thinking = good. Not too complicated.”
“Life isn’t anything like a box of chocolates if you’re lactose intolerant, unless you like shitting your pants at 4 in the morning.”
“Not just any girl would take me on a sunset trip to the Eiffel tower and throw up Limoncello into a bucket.”
“Even though you killed my Mother I will still buy eggs from you every day in the hope of you falling in love with me.”
“Bobby Taylor. Exceptionally short. Fishing rod.”
“Truth is an absolute defence.”
Under the heading of “CV” – “Do not put WRITING as hobby. That is job.”
“I’m not boring, I’m icy cool. And my hair isn’t wildly flung about.”
“Don’t keep food in the package.”
“I wish I was with you. Or him. Or her. Or somebody who isn’t pure poison. But most accordingly, you.”
“Greetings no-one. Although in case anyone from after the Bridget generation is reading this and they’ve decided to use MY journal as a rehash, welcome, and thank you for paying my divorce fees.”
“At least the world is free of listening to my shit. Even though I think I’m fairy interesting.”
“I have checked my heart rate but evidently am still alive. Got quite far through to do list but it is raining.”
“My mum says I can’t donate my eggs because I didn’t let her do it.”
“Let this be a lesson that you cannot over react and anyone who tells you you are over reacting is scared that your opinions are dead on the money.”
“Maybe I am a bit too tired to decide that this is the going to be the first day of the rest of my life. Also maybe 9:30pm on the Victoria line isn’t the best time to do it either.”
“I’ve just worked a 12 hour shift but my new black hair has remarkably held some gravitas.”
“I locked up the office today with Nick’s key and didn’t feel like a little kid anymore.”
“So I’m not interesting in loving someone shit when I am feeling equally shit, y’know. Mini chart time.” (Then a mini drawing of a chart.)
A page entitled “Dramatically exciting life plan for future days of living for the time being.” On that page:
“Gin is not a food group.”
“Drink more mint tea.”
“Get some cute tubs.”
“So I am going to get dressed and tidy the kitchen and put my laptop on and really start doing everything.”
“And there is always lovely, lovely Mummy and Jonny and Belle. All I can do is love them and do all I can to look out for them. That way, I always win.”
(That last one is my favourite.)
Photo credit – Africa Studio/shutterstock