The girls had to come with me to the doctor’s this morning – I had an 8am appointment to have a blood sample taken (to do with the thyroid business – nothing exciting).
As I opened my wallet to retrieve some paperwork for the receptionist the girls noticed a picture of them in there.
“Is that a picture of us?” asked Amber.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Why have you got a picture of us in your wallet?”
I paused for a split-second: why have I got that picture in my wallet?
The receptionist was looking at me; Amber was looking at me; Millie was looking at me; some old people in the waiting room looked up. An expectant hush had fallen across the doctor’s surgery.
Why does he keep their picture in there?
I thought “Because I love you”.
Then, in a tangled rush: Can I say that in front of strangers? Will it be embarrassing? What if someone laughs? But do I want my children to know I love them? Do I want them thinking it’s not OK to say that out loud? Not OK to say that in front of people? Thinking I’m embarrassed to say it? That I value the opinion of strangers more than the feelings of my own children…?
“Because I love you,” I said.
And they both smiled at me.