Though we've never met our children's parents I often feel they live with us in our day to day lives to varying degrees.
I'm sure that we don't realise how often they continue to exercise influence.
We see their presence in the lives of our children in a physical display, an outburst of emotion, a snarled comment, a look or gesture.
At other times it is more subtle, a hidden worry or quite thought, an emotion or mood, preferences, choices, likes and dislikes.
We see shadows of the adults that we've read about in forms, seen faded photographs of perhaps even met,
But they linger in our family lives like ghosts in our home, a presence, an influence.
Ghosts come in all kinds of manifestations, frightening, friendly, malevolent or benevolent.
But our ghosts can't be exercised and shouldn't be.
Yes, we want them to behave and play by our rules. We don't want the malicious poltergeists that maintain their control and influence continuing to disrupt from the beyond. But we need to learn to live with them, tame them, they are with us and always will be.
We take control by opening the curtains and letting the light into the darkness.
Not cowering away from the shadows but shining a light into them.
We open the door to the ghosts and engage with them, we write letters and look through the photo books with our children, we tackle them head on.
I'm not frightened of ghosts, I am the here and now.