There are certain things you don’t tell your mother.
Like how, when you were seventeen, you crashed her car into the gatepost while she was away in France and had it fixed out of your savings before she came back.
Or owning up to the true extent of what you got up to at University, and how little of it involved academic study.
Even now, close as we are, there are things I don’t tell my Mother. Partly to save her brow from further angst-incurred furrowing, but also because I have good friends and a counsellor with whom I ‘talk out’ my fruitier escapades.
Of course, when it comes to my own daughter, I like to think she does, and will, tell me everything.
Being five-years-old, this currently involves information about her latest bowel evacuation and news that she doesn’t like broccoli, (although she did tell me the Great Fire of London was in 1666 the other day, which really was news to me).
One thing she doesn’t discuss with me though, or even mention much these days, is Daddy. And I don’t push it, because I might cry and not stop, and she might end up as she usually does, wiping my tears and telling me everything will be OK.
I hadn’t thought much about this until I dropped her off at school this morning and her teacher asked for a ‘quiet word’.
Seems she’s been mentioning Him a lot at school. In the dinner hall. In assembly. She’s confided in staff that she’s sad that her daddy is dead and that she misses Him. She has sought comfort in the arms of teachers and dinner ladies.
I spent the rest of the morning ulcerating about this particular conversation starter. Arguably the most important and interesting of conversation starters for us to elaborate on, yet she keeps me at arm’s length with a broccoli floret.
She witnessed His death. She continues to witness the fall-out from His death. So why hasn’t she sought comfort from me?
Perhaps she’s trying to save my brow from further furrowing too.