We were driving home from the park. It had been a great morning, my daughters had worn themselves out, played nicely with the other children and each other (notwithstanding a small mishap with a stick). I had chatted to friends, taken photos and enjoyed cup of coffee. Wins all round.
Little C nodded off as soon as I turned the key in the ignition. But G prefers to stay awake now and resists falling asleep with all she’s got. With C snoozing, and therefore not competing for my attention, G began to grill me on every subject she could think of.
"Why do we have to stop when the lights turn red?"
"Why was that man crossing the street?"
"Why do the leaves fall off tress?"
"Why doesn’t A have a Daddy?"
I wonder if it had something to do with Fathers' Day and her new found obsession; drawing our family. I had helped her make a special Fathers' Day tee-shirt for her Daddy, she had very carefully used fabric crayons to draw us all along with my mother (what every man wants on his tee-shirt – his mother in law!), and inexplicably, a scarecrow. She joined up the dots on I made on the card – ‘Daddy’. She squealed with excitement when she heard a ‘Fathers' day’ ad on the radio. “He said ‘Fathers' Day'!” she exclaimed.
So perhaps she had mentioned it to A in the park. Or perhaps A had brought it up. I don’t know. But despite having known A and her family for several years her sudden interest in A’s Daddy totally floored me.
I chose my words very carefully. I wanted G to understand that families come in all shapes and sizes and that just because A’s family is different to ours it isn’t any less of a family.
G sat patiently waiting for my answer, perhaps sensing I was about to say something utterly extraordinary.
“A, doesn’t have a Daddy, she has two mummies instead”
I couldn’t see her face, but from her silence I gathered that her mind had been sufficiently blown.
“A, has two mummies?!” G repeated.
“Yes darling, two mummies” I replied.
“Wow” said G “She’s lucky!”
And that was that.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone were as accepting as children?