So we got Bella a new car, shiny red and sporty.
Her choosing to smoke cigarettes? I was unhappy.
You may think cigarettes a minor thing?
But my baby, the one I had nurtured, filled her perfect lungs with nicotine. In my eyes, she was damaging herself.
We ran an open house for her friends. They came before a night out, shared drinks, more of that later–came home with her to sleep. I encouraged this, bring my baby home safely with others, not let her wander the streets alone.
Was I over protective? Yes I was, and I knew it. But, we are who we are. Bella was my precious cargo, outside in the world.
One evening, after her friends arrived, I walked past the hall window, saw her sat on my drive, in her car, with these friends–SMOKING. I was furious.
After she left home for an evening of dancing, I cut pictures from magazines: diseased lungs–health warnings–blackened teeth, and stuck the images over her dressing table mirror. The next day she ripped them off.
We compromised: cigarettes stayed, but at a distance from me.
Years later: she would walk five steps behind me in the street, to spark up a fag, a roll up at that.
I wish that was all I had to worry about now.