If you take time to look up 'care' in the Dictionary (I have gone through four such dictionaries in my long life) you will find a lot of definitions: provide for, look after, - the list of word and phrases fills a large space on page 236. 'I don't care', 'be careful', 'I am so careless'. It is a much-used word and it means different things to different people.
Robert Crampton talks about it yesterday in his usual back page article in the Saturday Times. He talks about taking his grown-up daughter phoning to say she thought she might have broken an ankle - could they pick her up and take her hospital for an XRay? The answer was of course. yes!
At the end of the page he says - and I quote -"Childcare start with their first breath and ends with your last". A philosophy I tend to agree with. Although these days I don't think everyone falls into that bracket.
But I myself think that a subtle change creeps in - maybe when one is about eighty-ish. Suddenly the emphasis changes round and the child/parent relationship tends to swap sides. I don't know what you think - and maybe it applies more when like me you only have one child - but suddenly I begin to realise that I have to ask "who is caring for who?"
This certainly was the case last week when I had a scam. My computer skills are basic. What I do every day on the computer I can do well. But veer away from the everyday things and I have to come clean and say I have absolutely no idea how the wretched thing 'thinks'. My gut instinct is to ring my son and call "help" (the reverse of daughter calling Dad above and calling 'help' over a sprained ankle).
When I said to my son that I was thinking about getting a smart phone instead of carrying on with my 'old fashioned push-button antiquity' he visibly paled and said no - you stay as you are. I think a whole lot of images passed through his head in a short time of some of the difficulties I would face and what I would do with them!!