There’s a moment in every relationship with a much older person when you suddenly realise you’re no longer able to coast along as a “young person”. That this grown up you’ve always looked up to is now an “older person” and (as much as you doubt it) you’re now the “grown up”.

Those moments, as they’ve become more and more frequent, are a little more heartbreaking each time. I wonder if it’s because as I get older, love more, hurt more, live more, I begin to realise what it must be like to lose that. To no longer feel safe in your own head, or doubt the clarity of a memory.

These adults, all of whom, at some stage or other, wiped away my tears and patched up a bloody boo boo with a band aid and sugar fix. At least one, some, or all were there for me when I had my first date, first school ball, first car, first move out of home, first heartbreak, first disastrous dinner party, first car crash, first overseas travel, first sip of wine (or in one case, making me with the Fiona Milkshake when he wanted to make me go to sleep when he was babysitting me – a Kahlua and Milk – I was only 10 at the time, and it was my favourite drink).

I was lucky to have more adult family and grown up family friends than I knew what to do with – many many adults who loved my brothers and me. But over the years we’ve lost so many of them, some young and some not so young. And more recently my brothers and I find ourselves getting tearful over the aging of our gods and goddesses. The loss of the brilliant minds and sharp wit. And the look in their eyes – because they all seem to know they’re not all they once were. A grey feeling, that as someone special described to me over the weekend as “a badly behaved shadow that keeps shifting around you – you think you know it’s in front of you, then you can’t find it and suddenly it’s behind you and you’re confused and unconvinced. And ten you know you’re either batty or old or both”

And suddenly we’re doing for them what they once did for us. The little things that can no longer be managed, that for us seems so easy.

It’s made my brothers and me a little closer, and as we welcome the first mini-person to our family it starts all over again. But this time we’re the three wise grown ups with tales and tricks and games and giggles.

But maybe I’ll leave the Kahlua and Milk out this time round…..

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