Even in your mid 40's, being a daughter can be hard. Still sometimes I am catapulted into childhood by the weight of my parents disapproval. At the moment, they are disapproving of my stance on the Gaza massacre, and because of my involvement in trying to remove a man with a history of abuse against his partner from public office. My father cites my Jewish heritage, and my mother tells me it's none of my business what goes on behind closed doors and I know that if I engage in any sort of discussion they will see that I am still a child and we will all have to confront all the ways in which I wasn't heard and I wasn't protected, and they are old and frail and I can't do that to them.
So I let them think what they want to think, and recommit in my mind to being available for them if they need me, and walk away from a confrontation, knowing that there is no point in saying what they aren't willing to hear.
Being the mother of a bright, intuitive, loving and happy 19 year old on the other hand is very easy. Over the last week she has come with me to social events where I didn't want to be, spent hours scraping wallpaper from the bathroom wall and painting them a bright, clean cream, and has come to me to London to march with 150,000, to show our dissent. I haven't asked her to do these things, and she hasn't indicated that she knew I was particularly in need right now for a hand to hold, but she has just been completely and quietly and cheerfully there for me
And I just wanted to record how lucky I am, and how thankful for my loved beyond measure girl. I hope that in 25 years I have the opportunity to engage with her ideas still. Not necessarily to agree, maybe, but I want one of the lessons of my experience of being parented to be that I keep listening and listening and trusting that there are sound reasons for the things that she does. I hope I can give her that.
Daughters of the Soho Riots - The National
(If I thought they could listen, I would show my father this
Barnaby Raine - I'm here today because I'm Jewish
And I would show my mother this.
Domestic Violence Statisitics.)