It was with some sense of trepidation I entered the house. The hallway was littered with bags and shoes, and the dining room table was buried under reference books and computer stuff. There was no doubt. Our “baby” was home from university for Easter.
It is always with mixed emotions that I ‘welcome’ her home. She is a lovely young woman, but while she is away you start to value your privacy. Guests are always welcome but it is nice to wave them off.
So it is with daughters. Our younger daughter has her own place and it is always a joy to see her. Ok there is usually a hidden agenda of jobs to do around her house. You may recall last week, her idea of “loving gardening” was to have me pop round and start digging. What she means is, she likes to have a nice garden.
Throughout her formative years her summers at home were at play surrounded by flowers and now she wants them in her own little place but half expects her dad to plant them. In fairness she did a few tubs last year and a hanging basket. Even so for the heavier planting she still looks to her dad. Secretly, of course, I quite like being put on by her. Consequently, that bit of space we enjoy means we are great friends.
With the elder daughter, it is rather different. She is away at university, but still comes at holidays to live with us. In the process she brings her car piled up with all the paraphernalia of student life...and dumps most of it in our hallway. Then she goes for a quick 40 minute shower that drains away our hot water, before leaving a trail of damp towels all over the place.
All that creates a healthy appetite, and so our fridge suddenly looks like it has been visited by a plague of locusts. Strangely, all the better stuff vanishes first...steak, strawberries and such. Only when our lack-lustre shopping means gaps appear with frightening speed do the more mundane items like cheese and yoghurt start to disappear.
You will notice I didn’t mention eggs. I am not especially bothered about eggs but occasionally eat them. For our eldest, eggs were something of almost pathological hatred. Student poverty and the need for decent fast food, turned her. Now with the zealousness of the converted her dislike for eggs has turned to an appreciation of their convenience and food value. She loves them!
I have my reservations. Our own stock has decimated since she arrived home. It is not just the empty fridge but the discarded shells on the work top that provide evidence of her fondness for them. I would like to get her to tidy around after herself, but that is how students, it seems, live. Besides, my lovely daughter will be going back soon and so better not to rock the boat. You might say, for now, I’m walking on eggshells.