Friday, 19 October 2012
Being the big sister, I'm the one my siblings come to when they have a problem. I have one brother and one sister, and they are very different to each other.
When Lacey has a problem, everyone knows about it. Everyone knows who's involved, what each person said, what she thinks of them, why it's a big problem for her, and the fact that she's generally not happy and life as she knows it has ended. I always know when Lacey is going to visit. I get a phone call in which she tells me half the story she's arranging to come round and get off her chest. She then arrives at the door, starts talking the moment she enters, and leaves the moment she's finished talking, sometimes pausing briefly to thank me. She doesn't want advice; she doesn't want my opinion; she just wants to talk. I love her to bits and I love it when she comes to visit – it's a great way to catch up on the gossip.
Jake is completely different. Last Friday, the doorbell rang at 8pm. I'd finished dinner and had just started watching a film on TV. He waited patiently at the door until he was invited in, then entered without a word and slumped down on a chair at the dining table. I knew I didn't have to say a word, just put the kettle on. I still don't know what was wrong, but he drank his tea, stared into his cup for a while, gave me a kind of half-smile, then wandered into the living room and watched the rest of the film with me. When the film ended, we exchanged pleasantries and he left. He doesn't want advice; he doesn't want my opinion; he just wants me to be there. I love him to bits and I love it when he comes to visit – it reminds me that just 'being' is enough.