I had an atypical experience yesterday evening during a FaceTime video call with my twentysomething daughter Rachel.
My youngest offspring is currently residing in the province of Alberta in Canada; where she’s temporarily working, along with endeavouring to fulfil as many of her bucket list aspirations as possible.
Rach initiated the call, but within a minute of it commencing bizarrely declared herself too tired to talk and informed me she was going to terminate the call. A threat she carried out shortly afterwards.
So terse was our daughter’s demeanour, it was as though we (my wife Karen and I) had rung her and were disturbing her, not the other way around. After all, why would you ring somebody if you’re too tired and reticent to engage in a conversation?!
Unless her bucket list includes an entry of ‘initiate a call to parents informing them I’m too physically tired to engage in a conversation. Then hang up’. It’s pretty unlikely inclusion, however, some individuals do possess eccentric existential aspirations.
For example, my wife Karen has an ambition of solely taking the controls of a Boeing 747. Apparently, she wants to undertake this on an actual airplane not a flight simulator, destination the Spanish Costa Blanca. Thankfully, for the safety of scores of airplane passengers/crew, it’s highly unlikely she’ll be granted permission to fulfil her wish…….. In the unlikely event she is, I’ll be holidaying in Greece that year!
So what made my daughter hastily cut short the FaceTime call she’d herself initiated?Could it have been a consequence of something Karen or I said to her during that fateful 60 seconds?
On reflection maybe my intentionally inane questions during the brief exchange irked Rach. Personally, though, I think asking your daughter her favourite motorway route in Alberta, in addition to attempting to ascertain if her boyfriend can juggle oranges, is a perfectly reasonable line of questioning.
After all, it’s not like I asked something ridiculous, such as “How long’s your lunch hour?”; although I’ll put that query on the back burner as a potential question next time we speak to our feisty daughter.
As I write this narrative, I’ve just had a courier delivery of three self-published hardback books, containing excerpts of blogs and poems I selected in memory of my recently passed father.
Titled ‘A Right Small Glass’ it’s a selection of recent daily thoughts, which I published on my website writesaidfred.org . Prose penned during a deeply challenging final few weeks before and after my dad’s passing.
The title derives from my old man’s regular response upon being asked if he’d like to sample the ‘medicinal’ delights of a glass of red wine. I’m going to title my next book ‘A Right Small Phone Call’, inspired by yesterday’s curious FaceTime session instigated by my daughter.
Karen and I didn’t find out during the fleeting video call, but through the magic of Instagram I’ve learned last weekend Rachel ticked off a bobsleigh ride from her existential ‘must does’. A daredevil addition to a skydive, water-water rafting, caving and other adrenalin rush activities (which I’m unable to recall as I write) she’s undertaken since her Canadian sojourn commenced in May 2017.
Just some of the marvellous life experiences my daughter has indulged in during her ventures around the globe. Providing an extensively populated bank of memories, which she’ll be able to look back on in later life with fondness and a sense of achievement.
Yes, in years to come if you ever engage Rachel in conversation, she’ll no doubt be able to furnish you with a wealth of daring-do travel yarns…… Whatever you do, though, under no circumstances ask Rach to name her favourite motorway route when she was in Alberta, Canada!
2 kids who've flown the nest, 1 wife whose flown with Jet2. Born at a young age in 1960's Leeds, the author became interested in the literary life when his wife bought him a dog. Having an allergy to dogs, he swapped it for a typewriter. Being unable to train the typewriter to retrieve tennis balls, he reluctantly turned to writing...... Website - www.writesaidfred.org