Do you ever wonder at the person you have become? How different are you from the child you used to be?
In many ways I am still the same girl I used to be, but in other ways I am all grown up. The temper I had so little control of is still there, but now it is less frequent and better controlled. The careless attitude I had for life is a little more measured, and past experiences have ensured I treasure every day.
However in other ways I have become someone my parents would not recognise.
As a teenager I watched as my mum at last got the chance to plant the garden she couldn’t have when she had a young family. I say ‘I watched’ what I should say is I saw a garden grow, but I had no interest in the world in what she was growing, or how pretty it was. To say I was disinterested is wrong, the truth was I hated anything to do with the garden. ‘Tric will you water the plants?” was met with sighs and protestations, followed by a grumpy teenager barely wetting the flowers before packing away the hose. God forbid if she asked me to dead head the roses, because if one earwig crawled out I would dump the lot and run, never returning to clean it up.
Fast forward thirty years and you can see from this photo taken from my hall window, of a part of my garden, that I am no longer that girl. I love flowers and all things gardening. My idea of a perfect afternoon on a fine day is to visit a garden centre, planning a new flower bed or enhancing one already in bloom. How did this happen? I cannot explain, but perhaps the time I spent gardening, under duress, allowed it to seep into my soul, where it eventually blossomed. I wonder would my mum have ever imagined, she would one day in the future enjoy many a conversation on plants and gardening with that grouchy teenager.
As I thought about this post today I recalled another part of my childhood which lay a foundation for a passion of mine. This one came courtesy of my dad.
Those of you who follow my blog will know my dad died when I was barely into my twenties. He was a relatively young man in his early fifties who died a long death from motor neurone disease. Despite losing him so young he taught me so many lessons. One of my dads lovely traits was his appreciation of significance. We could be enjoying a simple moment and my dad would eloquently explain to us why that moment was special, even though we more often than not groaned and laughed at him as he did so. He had a great eye for such moments, and never let them pass without comment. Huge moments such as last days and first days were remarked on, but equally small moments, missed by many, when with a quiet word he would wonder how we had got on. I can remember when he was very near the end, unable to speak, or move anything but his eyes, I walked into his room after an important nursing exam. He was struggling to breathe but on seeing me his eyes widened, staring at me, doing all he could to ask me how did I get on.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post ‘To the small girl at the top of the slide’. One of the comments was in praise of me turning a simple moment into a poignant post. As soon as I read it I thought of my dad and the girl he taught so much to, and the adult he has helped me become.
I’ve been a long time growing up, but I hope on occasions my mum and dad look at me, smile at what I have become and feel proud for the lessons they managed to teach that difficult teenager.