This Easter Sunday brought us a milestone moment, one truly symbolic of new life and new hope.
No we didn’t go to church; we went to lunch with the young ’uns. It wasn’t to a pub, us paying, either. This was a ground-breaking first; our presence was requested at the home of Boy’s girlfriend.
I’d made the mistake of mentioning it to Mother, who had instantly read far too much into the invite. “Ooh, there might be An Announcement,” she said. “I’ve got a feeling.”
She’s probably barking up the right tree, but five years too early, I hope. They’re only 24, for heaven’s sakes. Look, I know that’s three years older than I was in Easter 1981 when I moved in with Boy’s dad, but see what happened there.
Plus boy hasn’t caught Girl up yet. She is light-years more mature than him, a situation clearly demonstrated by the fact that he still lives with us while she has her own lovingly self-renovated home,
On the drive down we felt a bit nervous. They have eaten with the pair of us for more hot Sunday dinners than I remember, but the lunch tables had turned. This was them being the hosts; we’d be grown-ups to grown-ups.
We’d gone with a potted primrose and a bottle of wine, like you would if you were going to friends, plus chocolate Easter bunnies as a concession to the fact that they are, after all, still kids wanting chocolate, and a few gentle requests from Boy not to mention any little faults we might spot. “She’s fretting about things not being perfect,” he’d said protectively. How sweet. Though clearly unnecessary; she’s practically lived in our house. She knows everything is either falling to bits of covered in dog hairs.
In the event, the house was as pretty as a picture with its vintage finds and handmade cushions, and as neat as a pin. The only thing that looked out of place was my son, the eternal untidy teenager.
Though a transformation IS taking place. As he made the gravy (from scratch, like he’s seen me do) and checked his hand-made Yorkshires (seriously, I almost fainted) he joshed about her being a Monica who likes everything just so and tells him off when he leaves the bath towel in a mess.
“As in on the floor in a sodden heap; yeah, gets me riled every time,” said I. “No, as in on the rail and folded, but not with asymmetrical edges,” he replied, very seriously. Ah.
Lunch was a revelation, too. Roast beef, red wine gravy, cracking roasties, perfect cauliflower cheese... Better than I’ve ever given them.
And conversation around her table proved so very different to that which we have shared around mine. Me and Bloke picked our way through new territory, finding topics for mutual discussion with two people we thought we knew really well, but realise we don’t because parental blinkers blind you to the fact that they’ve become adults.
When it came to the apple crumble, she picked up the spoon to serve and I said: “You be mother.” I hope she knew what I meant. Symbolic stuff and all that.