I'm slowly becoming my parents.
It's not a sudden thing, like flicking a light switch - it's gradual, like ageing, the erosion of youth by time's slow insinuation. We know it's happening but we don't really acknowledge it until we pass a milestone - such as a birthday - that gives us cause to mark our progress.
Over the years, I've heard my father's voice coming out of my mouth from time to time; when I'm talking to children, perhaps, or commenting on another driver's behaviour. Sometimes I stop myself and ask if that's really what I think, or whether it's a habit I learned from him. That's a whole other topic.
Just the other day, though, I spotted a significant event; a quantum leap towards the main event, perhaps. The Sparkly One and I were going away for a week, driving down to South Devon for a few days here and there. As I was packing my clothes and other essentials, I decided to include my own pillow, because I wanted to be as comfortable as possible for those nights that I would be spending away from my own bed.
As I loaded the car, I watched the pile of "essentials" grow higher and higher in the boot - did I really need that many clothes for a few days away? - until I popped the pillow on top and realised that the moment had come and gone.
I'd taken another step closer to becoming my father. He never travelled far without his pillow, for fear of not sleeping that night.
Thankfully, I hadn't included any slippers. Not this time.