I know I’ve used this image already but there’s more to be said about the feet, of which two are engaged to be married, two are homeless overseas, and two belong to the parents of the other four. One of the parents was discussing with another parent recently the states of daughterhood and motherhood â€” what a tricky little dance they represent at times as we try to gauge how much of our lives we owe yet to our offspring, how much to our parents, and what to ourselves as we follow our own stars. Never mind what we feel apart from the debts and oughts. Some people don’t actually like the people they’re related to (I’m lucky enough to know I’d probably choose mine all over again, she hastened to add), and some are pathologically attached. But we’re all tempted at times to rush in where patient stand-offishness would serve the situation better; or to put our heads in the sand when compassionate intervention is called for.
Anyway, the homeless one revealed her status on Facebook (in which place parents cut another delicate caper), ‘But, Mum, I’ve got a safe place to sleep,’ she wrote. ‘What, chained to a park bench?’ I jotted back.
But no, she’s safely, illegally, ensconced in the attic over a fudge kitchen. Just for a few days.