Sorry about the title. I suppose that's what happens when you watch too much Doctor Who. He/it's been going for 50 years believe it or not. I was but a slip of a girl when it started but I do remember my little brother hiding behind the sofa when the scary bits came on. I was 12 and grown up enough to help get the Christmas presents ready for the younger children who still ' believed'. My parents had bought a big, plastic dalek for my brother. It was big enough for him to get into and walk around the house, wiggling the sink plunger thingy at the front, talking in a strange alien voice and crashing into the furniture. He declared it his best present ever. In those distant days I thought my mom and dad knew everything there was to know. Whatever problem we children had they could sort it out. Whatever question I had they knew exactly what to say. I know now how lucky I was to have such a solid family around me. How comforting it was to have them to rely on. When did all that change? When did the balance shift? Mom, now 85, saves all her official letters for me these days. She gives me all the forms that need filling in, me who has hardly ever filled in a form in my life. I'm been married to an accountant for almost 40 years, why on earth would I fill forms in for goodness sake! I am torn between feeling flattered that she thinks I know what to do and bewildered that I'm the one supposed to have the answers these days. It's not just the older generation looking to me for answers either. I pity poor Laura when she asks me for advice about babies. I seem to have forgotten everything I ever knew. I can't remember when a baby gets their teeth, speaks their first words or begins to walk. Was it so long ago I can't recall or have I blanked it all from my memory because I was so useless at the time? I recently found the baby book you're supposed to keep all this information in. It was for my younger daughter and yes, there were a few entries. It records the dates of her immunisations and mentions that she had half a banana at 4 months. Beyond that momentous occasion there's nothing. Was I so overwhelmed by the responsibilities of motherhood that I had no time to write a brief note or didn't we feed her again after that? I don't think we were so neglectful that we left our children to forage for themselves but who knows? It's a miracle they have turned out as well as they have!
This all sounds very self obsessed. I suspect the introspection has been brought on because I'm now a grandmother. There's a new innocent and trusting little soul relying not just her mom and dad but her wider family too. She's the most precious gift and I can't begin to explain how much we love her but it's unsettling when you realise you are now the grown up and everyone expects you to act like one!