Wednesday 3 June 2009

Love letters

“Daddy” says my daughter, coming up behind the sofa and leaning over towards me. “Can I have a piece of paper please?”

I give her a sheet and she goes away to her room.

A little later she re-appears and hands the paper back saying “Look, I’ve done this for my friend.”

I take it and find in amazement that it is filled with writing. Something strange has happened recently: my daughter now reads to me the books I used to read to her. She trips through the words using the same intonations I used to. And then there’s the writing. Some of the words are familiar, others not. But it’s undeniably writing.

It says:

I’ve got 46 stickers I countid them on Tuesday 2009 17th the 17.03.09 March. Yor my best frend. I hoap you have a sooper holoday and Il tri and get my mummy to have a play date

Love from Xxxxx

I congratulate her on her efforts. She smiles broadly back, but suddenly I don’t see the straight-backed girl with fraying pigtails and biscuity mouth in front of me. Instead I see the baby I fed with milk from a tiny bottle and rocked to sleep in an attic bedroom five years earlier. I can’t remember any of the countless tiny moments in between and I can’t begin to understand how the change has happened.