Sunday, 22 March 2015
I love the fact that our family is a big raggedy mess of people and theirs wants and wishes and whims and wimsy and, let's admit it, quite a lot whining. Not such a fan of the whining actually. But when Matilda recently told me she would like to spend some time just the two of us I felt my wishes and wants perfectly in tune with hers. So with circus class cancelled yesterday morning I suggested we take the time to do something together. We have lots of birthday parties coming up - and I like the kids to choose their own presents for their friends - so Matilda suggested we have a morning shopping for presents and I suggested we go out for breakfast together first.
In a strange way I was overcome by how different it felt to be with Matilda, just Matilda, away from home. To have a proper conversation, to really listen to her. Her lengthy flights of fancy (all true she swears) are intriguing and revealing. I was struck both by how mature and yet how little she still is. One of her stories involved a ghost called Rosa she had discovered in the playground at school. She recounted the many adventures the two had been on together, in detail. After about twenty minutes she summed up, "So you see, I don't need Zia anymore". Zia is her best friend, who she fell out with last week. My heart broke a little. A timely reminder as to why and how much we all need stories, to tell them, to listen to them being told by others. And I determined to give Matilda more time to tell her stories.