Thursday, 15 September 2011

Children Do Say The Funniest Things.. And Then Sometimes They Don't

I WAS going to write about The Boy and the hilariously, funny things he says. You know the kind of thing - every child trots out a variety of questions and opinions that are so knee-ticklingly amusing, they are pressed forever into the memory (or in the modern world, committed to posterity in the wonderful world of the web).

I WAS going to share the sheer brilliance of his asking whether we could rewind Christmas like we can rewind TV and do it all again... and again ... and again.

I WAS going to do that but then today I spent the afternoon with The Boy and his classmates on a walk around our local area as part of their learning about the environment. As we walked back to school from the allotments, after they chuckled at my stumpy carrots and oohed at my whopping courgettes, we passed one of the boy's houses.

We were just wondering if we should knock on the door and invite ourselves all in for a cup of tea when the little boy, whose house it was, said to me confidentially: "I don't have a daddy."

And trotting along besides me, clutching my hand he told  me that his Daddy lived elsewhere. That his Mummy and Daddy had been together but before he was one year old, his Daddy had left them.

He used to go see his daddy every so often until he was four years old, he said, and then they all fell out and now his daddy didn't like his mummy and didn't like him. So now he didn't see his daddy at all anymore.

Five years old and he sounded worldly-wise but not in the least self-pitying. He had his mummy and his grandma and his grandad. He didn't miss his daddy, he said but then wistfully asked: "Has Oliver got a daddy."

How I didn't sweep him off the floor and hug the very bones of him, I don't know. I was severely tempted to deny all knowledge of Oliver's daddy too, though I didn't.

Not quite Don't Children Say The Funniest Things I know. But I do think that one day, there might be one particular daddy who will realise he's missed having a whole treasure chest full of memories to keep him warm.

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