Bee is still at the stage of establishing an independent life with her school friends with whom she has an active social life and who provide a large measure of support when I am away for longer periods. When I come back, she resents having to share the house again with someone, having got used to doing things her way. For myself, I resent coming back to an empty house, with no food and a general teenage mess, and all the problems I left behind still to fix. Only the cat misses me, and instantly returns to sleep on my bed.
After a few days I hardly notice the teenage mess, having stamped a minimum of order on the place. In my four days spent at home last week, we had not managed one meal together, such was her social life. But despite the constant teenage coming and going, she has discovered the limits to freedom. Just as I was leaving again, she said "it's nice to have someone else in the house: the lights are on at night, there are cooking smells, even if the food is eaten".