independent

Saturday 18 November 2017

It's good to know when I go away, my family miss me for radically different reasons

By Justine O'Mahony

I go away for six days and the world as they know it falls apart! Heading off on a work trip to America last week I felt miserable saying goodbye to The Youngest as she stood waving at me and bawling her eyes out.

I have to admit I also felt a little bit smug. I also felt a bit smug when I got a Whatsapp message from the Teenager saying how much he missed me and how he couldn't wait for me to come home!

Awwwwww! Lying in my hotel room, all alone on the other side of the world I felt loved. And needed. And all warm and fuzzy inside.

I remember thinking 'maybe it's true what they say - absence makes the heart grow fonder. They're going to appreciate me so much more when I come home.'

That feeling of being loved and cherished didn't last long. As soon as I walked in the door, jetlagged out of my head, the 15-year-old hugged me and said, 'will you go to the supermarket and buy biscuits? Like tons of biscuits? Dad wouldn't buy any.'

At least I know my own worth now. A few measly packets of chocolate caramel digestives. Anyone could fulfil my role. In fact if you threw in a six pack of Tayto, you'd be welcomed with open arms and convincingly warm hugs. They'd probably even make their beds for you.

Sadly I am quite needy. It's one of my biggest flaws. No one quite knows how I became this way, because I come from a loving family (so they tell me when they're drunk) but I do need to feel like everyone loves me.

So I couldn't let it go. 'Did you miss me?' I asked pathetically. Both children rushed to respond, 'yeah, yeah course we did.'

Then...and I kid you not... 'Mam will you make me a cup of tea? I haven't had a decent cup of tea since you went.'

And what did I bloody well do? Yes! You've guessed it! I put the feckin' kettle on and made the little fecker a cup of feckin' tea. Rod for my own back much?

Meanwhile the 11-year-old was too engrossed in her Sephora haul to care about anything other than lip glosses and face masks. 'Were you very lonely without me?' I wheedled, squeezing her tight. She didn't even look up. Just shrugged her shoulders and said, 'not really although dad's toast isn't as nice as yours.'

Feeling sorry for me, Himself tried to save the day. 'I missed you. My feet were freezing in the bed. I had to wear socks one night they were so cold.'

I'm so glad I have my uses.

Wexford People

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