“Mummy,”said Olivia yesterday. “Do you buy the presents that Father Christmas brings?”
This was too direct a question to ignore, or skirt around. What would you have done? She is seven years old. She has two younger siblings who passionately believe in Father Christmas. I remember believing in Father Christmas was one of the best things about being a child.
“No,” I lied.
“Oh good,” she said. “And I know you wouldn’t lie to me, except for maybe about your age.” Eeeeek. One day I will have to tell her that I did lie, but I was at least crossing my fingers. And as for lying about my age, I quote Oscar Wilde in my defence: “One should never trust a woman who tells her real age, if she tells that, she’ll tell anything.”
This morning I had the written equivalent of a “you’re really very pretty” comment (see below Flirting Allowed blog) on my website. A fourteen-year-old New York-based poet wrote asking me to “keep writing forever”. So I am floating once more. Somehow it meant a lot more than being told I’m pretty. Could I finally be maturing? Let’s hope not.
The only thing depressing me is Madeleine. My husband keeps telling me to stop obsessing but somehow I just can’t. I was awake at 4am again worrying about her. I know it’s not helping anyone but at 4am I have no control over my brain. If it happens again tonight I will just get up and do some ironing; anything is better than thinking about what might have happened to her.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007