Friday, 7 June 2013


It took a few days.

Soothing, saving, sleep came; smiles returned; and she started to acclimatise herself to her new dental brace (refitted without drama, fuss or agitation on Monday after she'd succesfully dismantled it at the weekend).

Her teeth were no longer her main focus - buzzing insects were. You may think that the sunshine we’ve been experiencing this week was the signal that summer is finally here, but it wasn't. We work to our own almanac: summer arrives precisely when my daughter starts obsessively discussing the evil nature of wasps. Which she did, repeatedly. The insect-based refrain is refreshingly, comfortingly familiar. I can fire off my answers to her questions like a sharpshooter, knowing exactly what she wants me to say. "Yes, that's right, we love bees because they make honey, no, nobody really likes wasps, no, they won't sting you, not unless you tread on them or really annoy them, yes, your cousin got stung three times, no, I've never been stung, and yes, yes, I think you're right, wasps are evil."

I stood watching her today, at the special school’s garden party, just for a minute. I was there to take photos for the school newsletter (the party had been organised to celebrate the head being awarded an OBE earlier in the year). I’d even worn a frock for the occasion, a wardrobe choice usually strictly confined to weddings, christenings and funerals.

My daughter was in her best flowery dress. She caught my eye, then dipped her head, grinning shyly. I snapped the picture, above, then walked across to her and pushed her glasses up from the end of her nose.

She was back. My girl had reappeared like the sun, startling and tingling my skin.

I let the light wash over me. And squinted a bit, dazzled by the disco pink bands of her braces. 

Video is Madonna - Ray Of Light. "And I feel/Like I just got home."

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