Thoughts on being parents to adult children

By Monika Timms

It’s 8.30 in the evening and the telephone rings.  We look at each other.  Which one will it be, and what will they want?
The husband goes to answer it.
‘Hello Toots’ I hear him say…so it’s the daughter.  If he says ‘Hello vicar’ it’s a son.
I hear snatches of conversation, laughter, the grandson’s names mentioned.  Eventually I hear him say ‘Do you want to speak to your Mother?’
She obviously says ‘Yes’ because he appeared in the doorway, beckoning me.
‘Here she comes’ he tells her.
‘Hello Sweetie’ I say ‘How are you?’
I ask about the grandson’s and son-in-law and she tells me what they’ve been up to.
Just when I think it might be time to say goodbye she says
‘Oh, by the way, what are you doing… ?’
We know its coming – a request to baby-sit usually or
‘Can we come and visit you?’ which means Nanna cooks lunch and makes cakes for tea.
Or, ‘can you come to tea’ – which also means can Nanna make come cakes…
Or, can we borrow…
When the daughter left home and borrowed any of our equipment we bought that item for her for Christmas, in the hope that we could have ours back.
I have suggested to the husband that he create a spreadsheet to show which child has which piece of equipment, tool, or whatever they’ve borrowed,  so that when we go to the cupboard or drawer to look for something and it’s not there we will know who has it and can we please borrow it back.