… today as we walked to school hand in hand as usual, with Zoom by our side as usual, 8-year-old Maggie and I kept looking at each each other, and smiling. That might have been because just before we left I told her how I love her so much, and how cool it is that she is so smart but also so funny.
Barely containing her joy, as we looked at each other, she said how we were the best family ever. That I was the best mummy ever, that Dad was the best daddy ever, that her brothers are the best brothers ever, that Zoom is the best dog in the world and the cats are the best cats ever. Then she said oh I forgot one! And pointed at herself. And I am the best… she paused. Yes! I asked her, what do you call yourself? She laughed and said like I was stupid: “A child! I am the best child ever! And my brothers, they are also children, teenagers are still children! (a lot of wisdom there methinks)” So we talked of how actually one of them is going to be 20 next year so no longer a child and not even a teen! And the other will be an adult by law in August. But, I said, you will all always be my children, even when you’re 60. And she said, I hope I get to be 60. And I said well I blooming hope so! I hope all of us get to be 60! She said I hope you get to be sixty and still look like you look like now. And I laughed and I said that’s not going to happen, but I don’t care, I just hope I get as old as I possibly can to see you all grown up. And she said how she wished we would all live a long long time, the pets too. It’s going to hit her very hard when lovely Zoom dies, I do hope he’s got a lot more years in him.
So you see? Daddy? We didn’t do too badly in the end. You spent your whole life a part from one single instance criticising and admonishing and making me anxious and telling me how everything I did was wrong, from every far away, but in the end things haven’t turned out that bad so far. Fingers crossed.