Let me tell you about an unforgettable night I spent with my husband. It was he and I, sans trousers, sans inhibitions, sans stomach lining.
We were groaning out loud with pleasure, husband and I.
Our romantic dinner didn’t involve any amorousness, but our taste buds were definitely doing the Turbocharged Tango. We were masticating vocally with joy, not really talking to each other, despite having lots to talk about (my firstborn had not long announced she was intending to move out with friends to a share house in Sydney).
I’d made Moroccan lamb with a fresh couscous, fig and almond salad complete with homemade Harissa. It was divine. Until approximately 12 hours later—then it wasn’t.
When we both ran to the loo like we were 15-year olds charging for the front row at a Coldplay concert, we deduced that I’d somehow managed to give us food poisoning. It was ferocious…and all the sweet memories of the gastronomical ballet from the night before were literally being flushed away.
I’ll spare you the poo jokes and gory details but the next 48 hours were an exercise in timing, new ways to enjoy soda water and out-groaning each other.
There was plenty of forced downtime (in between purging and groaning) to ponder the transitions happening around me (and I’m not talking about the ones from the other bathroom).
My daughter is moving out of home soon, my son is in his final year of school and this new year brings with it the need for me to do more annoying “parental letting go”. These beautiful human chadults, that I spent the good part of two decades protecting and nurturing, don’t need me much anymore, the bloody things! It’s a feeling that is foreign, complex and painful.
The frenetic dance is ending and I have to twirl them gently around and release them into the big, glorious, scary, wonderful world, hoping I’ve shown them enough helpful moves (but let’s face it, my Young Talent Time ones are timeless).
Deep breath…twirl…let go.
Much harder said than done. But I know, much like the food poisoning, I have to ride the messy wave and wait patiently to find my new equilibrium. I have to trust that they will always want me around and that there’ll be lots more delicious dinners for all of us (but I’ll probably wash the lettuce in future).