I hear you
It has been a while since I have taken a pretty lady out to dinner.
Unable to meet with anyone from outside the household, I feared I was stuck for a suitable dinner companion until remembering I had one living under my roof for 50% of the time.
Accepting my invitation with a degree of suspicion, The Eldest and I set off for the restaurant. For the next hour and a half she proceeded to talk my ear off about everything.
I felt incredibly privileged to be sat with this young lady - who just five minutes could fit in the crook of my arm - as I nursed a glass of Pinot Noir through a seafood risotto and an incredibly rich Nutella cheesecake, whilst The Eldest demolished a plate of gnocchi and the same cheesecake, unfortunately requiring assistance to finish it.
Given the pressures of this year and her low mood of late, it was nice to see her so animated and excited about spending Christmas Day with me and her siblings, with the added bonus of seeing her mum at the end of the day too.
Speaking with a friend recently, we both revealed our heartache at seeing our children wrestling with their mental health and turning themselves inside out as they worry about things that are both out of their control and genuinely inconsequential. Equally, we both accepted the fact from our own experiences that sometimes the closer you are to the subject matter the more difficult it can be to see its true form.
Whilst she has the certainty of youth chip still resident on her shoulder and - I would guess like the majority of teenagers - is stuck on “transmit” mode, she will have some more tough days ahead of her. The art of listening and genuinely hearing others is a learned skill that takes time to develop, but once she is able to achieve this, they’ll be no stopping her and in a long overdue quote from Hamilton, I have no doubt that she will “blow us all away”.
Until then she will always be able to look in her locker and find her father’s pride in the young, sensitive and fierce woman she is becoming.