Monday, 31 August 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Youngest is winging her way back to blighty on a twenty four hour eastbound trip via Vancouver and Minneapolis. Lots of hugs and promises, and Mrs S was decidedly emotional with separation anxiety. So much so that I didn't sleep at all well last night. Too many tearful elbows in ribs and me speaking very softly to my other half to try and get her around the sometimes self defeating guilt she feels. That and trying to get a decent nights bloody kip.

Said maternal guilt is based around the premise that we no longer live in crowded old England and are not at everybody's beck and call 24 / 7. Mrs S seems to think Youngest still needs her every thirty seconds for a hug, which is not so, although she is still capable of curling herself up on her Mum's lap like a four year old. Youngest is the baby of the family, and babies always impose the greatest gravitational pull on their mother's emotions. What can I say?

In these circumstances I must play the emotional rock and let the sea of female anxiety wash at my habitual stoicism. It's not easy, especially when I'm feeling a bit fragile myself. Despite various fallings out and her tendency to defend her inconveniently manipulative biological father, there is a bond between Youngest and I. Not much, just a little. We can hold grown up conversations on a wide variety of topics, and can even share the odd giggle, even if she tells me I'm a right scary bugger (Her words) sometimes. She's even been known to single her grouchy old stepdad (Me) out for an unsolicited hug.

To the shared relief of Mrs S and I, we have had three (so far) phone calls to say all is well but a trifle boring, and youngest is one third the way back to University. Before that she will be sleeping off the jet lag at her elder sisters place in jolly old Londinium. Eldest is not so much of a traveller as her younger sibling, and tends to be a bit of a hometown girl. As such, we do not often see Eldest this side of the pond. However, I shall sleep with the phone handset by my side of the bed tonight, just in case we get a call in the early hours of the morning our time with the plaintive complaint; "Me bloody sister's not turned up!" At which juncture other relatives will be roused and sent charging to the rescue.

I have photographs of aircraft taking off with youngest waving frantically from window of Seaplane. These must be processed and e-mailed to coincide with her safe arrival. Mrs S will need another 24 hours of comforting, and then I must take care not to let her kick off for the next week. Oh the joys of married life.

On a vaguely related topic, I see that one man is suspected of killing his stepdaughter and then supposed to have hanged himself, and speculation of incestuous doings are rife throughout the media and various blogs, yet we have no evidence of the man's motivation. Was he the predatory sexual monster some have intimated? Was the motive sexual, or was it a little bit more complicated than that. Being a stepfather of girls myself, and thus being better schooled in the emotional complexities of non biological bonding, I will withhold judgment until there are more facts in the public domain. Having grown up amongst those belonging to the 'stands to reason' school of applied (excuse my oxymoron) logical gossip, I will only condemn the action of the girls murder and the man's subsequent (apparent?) suicide, but I won't be calling the lorry driver a paedophile. Not yet. Not until it's been proven. There's something which doesn't smell right about the whole business.

Very few stepfathers are monsters, despite the stories the media feed us.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails