After my “inner teenager raging against the world” fit yesterday I decide to change plans entirely for today. K wants to go to a book signing about two hours away. I had been groaning inwardly – this was the day I had earmarked for manic house cleaning and tidying. When things are tough, I develop bunker mentality and I want to stay home and clean and tidy. But my equally wonderful, funny, eccentric daughter K needs me too and she really wants to go. L plans to go see a film this afternoon with her friend. So, K and I set off early this morning. We had perhaps better skirt around the issue of the small fire in the microwave which was ignited as a result of K not knowing the difference between a fan oven and a microwave oven.
I am K’s biggest fan. Unlike L she doesn’t do the whole “wanting to please” thing. She doesn’t actively want to upset people, but sometimes she doesn’t see why they are upset. She is utterly unaffected by the normal teenage ephemera, she regards make up as pointless, fashion as a blight of capitalism and the whole swooning over pop stars stuff makes her retch. Nearly. She spends most of her time at home in the Batcave, aka her bedroom. If the security forces stormed my house in the middle of the night due to K hacking into the Pentagon security system and changing the codes into Parselmouth, a voice would probably say in my head that I knew all along she was up to something. She keeps a blog about Sherlock, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and lots of other geekery, and needless to say I am never to read it.
People keep asking me how she is. In the sense of her twin sister has anorexia and is in hospital so how must K be feeling. If I ask her, I sense that she is completely sick of anorexia, glad that L is getting treatment and desperately wants life to get back to normal. I say I sense this is what she feels, summed up in the word “Fine”.
We travel in the car and discuss ginger genetics, how Muggle born wizards acquire magical powers, the relative merits of different kinds of doughnuts, but most of the time we sit in companionable silence, while K listens to her iPod. At the bookshop she queues for over two hours to get a signature of an author she admires. She meets a friend, who she only knows from the Internet. Both her parents and I are relieved to find out this friend is just a teenage girl and not an axe murderer or a pedophile. She smiles to herself when she meets me in the coffee shop afterwards and shows me her signed book.
So much of life is about L. Today is about K. She may not have anorexia, but she needs me just as much.