Jack fell down
I had an urgent email to send tonight, it was a busy evening, supper to make, people in and out, small soul to feed and Granby to cheer up after a trying day.
Supper was one of those, ” if you eat one bean and a bit of fish then you can have an Aston Martin / ice cream / house in the country / pair of Manolo Blahniks when you grow up” kind of meals, or rather it started out that way.
She chewed the French beans, stuffing them in and then equally quickly pulling them out and rejected all the little potatoes she normally loves … then she spotted my plate and demanded a bit of my salmon (having thrown all hers on the floor), I gave her a piece, and then another piece, and suddenly she loved supper and ate all of mine. Which was OK, her need being greater and being a growing girl and all that.
Granby cheered up watching all my dinner (salmon with crayfish and cream sauce) being scoffed by Hope (yes I know, but someone gave me a tub of crayfish tails and I had no idea what to do with them), and then burst out laughing as I managed to knock over my small glass of wine (the end of the bottle) reaching over to mop cream sauce from Hope’s chin.
I felt a rare need to retreat. I picked up my phone and banished myself to the downstairs loo … one of the rare times I get a few moments of peace. I checked my emails, looked at the latest news and wrote my urgent missive. Then I heard something …
or more exactly, Granby singing.
She used to have a fabulous singing voice, then she had an operation on her neck and lovely though it is, her singing has never been quite the same. In fact, she doesn’t often sing at all, she gets embarrassed (which she shouldn’t, but she does).
“Jack and Jill went up the hill”
She sang it through and then Hope shouted, ” ‘gain, again Granby”, so she sang it again, and again and again and again. Then after about 20 renditions I heard another little voice, Hope, joining in, belting it out, shouting out the last word of each line with absolute delight. “Jill came tumbling AFTER”
“Mummy come ON … where are you?”
I stood up, a bit uncomfy, with that I’ve-been-sitting-on-the-loo-for-too-long kind of feeling, and headed out toward the kitchen.
“HURRY up Mumma hurry, SHOW YOU”.
I walked in and round the table and watched them and listened as I made a cup of tea, my mother and my girl. My love and my inspiration. Granby was telling Hope that a pail is a bucket and breaking your crown is like bumping your head. Hope was nodding sagely and repeating every word back, “bump di head … Jack sad?”
Then they sang it again, and again and again and I joined in. This kind of happiness is so joyful, I felt so very blessed, all the anxieties about money, life and work faded away. I have less in a financial sense than I’ve ever had at the moment, but I have more than I ever imagined possible in a real life sense, and standing in the kitchen wafting the tea bag around in my camomile tea, everything felt pretty much perfect.
Before I took her upstairs for her bath, I suggested Hope thank Granby for singing with her. She clambered up onto her grandmother’s lap, kissed her and said, “aaankyou Granby, love ooooo” and headed up to bed. She sang the song in the bath and kept breaking off from her night time milky breastfeeding frenzy (normally sacrosanct time) to sing her new party piece. She said goodnight to me and then just before she snuggled down, looked over and said, “Jack fell down, silly Jack” and giggled, “Hopey’s song, Granby teach it to Hopey … lovely”, and then she fell asleep. I went to turn Granby’s light off and check she was OK, but she’d already fallen asleep. I stood for a while watching her and kissed her and then I did the same with Hope.
I am so lucky.