I think I must be missing my boy.
Last night, after dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, I read bedtime stories to her foster child, J. He’s nearly five, and just starting to love stories, though his concentration was waning by the end of the second one. At dinner, I was seated next to J, who was more keen on anecdotes than eating.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said, as our plates emptied and his remained full. ‘I can’t hear you. I won’t be able to hear you until you’ve had four more mouthfuls.’
He shovelled in four hasty forkfuls of peas and continued through his mouthful.
Later, I asked him a question he wasn’t too interested in.
‘Sorry,’ he said, putting his hands over his ears as I had earlier. ‘I can’t hear you’.
Tonight, it was dinner at the North Melbourne Town Hall with two good friends. The heat of the day was slowly evaporating, and the beer garden, blessed with the beginnings of a cool breeze, was packed. While one friend was fetching a round of drinks, mid gossip about old boyfriends, I looked down to see a small girl hovering at my elbow. Dark eyes, long dark hair to her waist, rustling red dress. She whispered a hello, and I engaged her in conversation about her pretty dress (yes, I know) and what she ate for dinner.
‘Who’s that?’ she asked, pointing at my friend.
‘She’s a fairy princess,’ I said. ‘Doesn’t she look like one?’
The small girl frowned and my friend, elegant but utterly street smart with her short red ringlets, square glasses and sleeveless woollen vest, laughed and nodded.
‘She has wings,’ I said. ‘Sparkly ones. They’re in her bag.’
The girl’s eyes widened.
‘Can I see them?’
‘No,’ I said. ‘They dissolve in the light. She can only take them out when it gets dark.’
‘Don’t tell anyone,’ I whispered. ‘It’s a secret.’ I put my fingers to my lips. The girl smiled and mirrored my gesture. Our companion returned with the drinks and our conversation drifted back towards grown-up topics. The little girl returned to her table.
‘She’s got wings!’ I heard her say. ‘They’re in her bag!’
On Tuesday night, I rang my dad’s house to speak to F. He sounded a little perturbed.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked him.
‘I’m watching a movie, Fantastic Four.’
‘Oh, that sounds good. Is it good?’
‘Yes.’ Pause. ‘I’m right in the middle of it, actually.’
‘Oh. Would you like me to let you go, so you can get back to it?’
‘Yes please. Bye Mum.’
I guess he’s having a good time.
Two days to go and I’m there.