Several times over the past couple of years I've had opportunity to engage with my parents and those of my friends outside of the usual system of our relationships. Circumstances called for both parties to be adults, no longer an adult and child. While it's empowering and somewhat exciting to be an 'adult' and have opinions that count, it's also sad and hard to see our parents as people that I can relate to on an equal footing. To see their weaknesses and their insecurities and realise that they are not omnipotent and omniscient beings who are always right. This realisation might be easier and it might come sooner for people from other cultures whose relationships are structured differently, but, for all our advancements, we Bulawayans are still very conservative. I love to be able to give back to my folks (which term covers uncles, aunts, older siblings, parents' friends) but their vulnerability kicks at something in my chest. Is it a fear that someday that'll be me? That as soon as you have children you live for them then one day they no longer need you? I guess I know myself well enough to fear that that fear could keep me from having a fully engaged relationship with my children, not wanting to 'lose' myself in parenting then be kicked out the door when my time is up.