Things I Must Never Forget # 2
He and his sister are staying with me for a few days and I am stupidly happy at having a sensible reason to live for a change.
He’s always been very good at dressing himself but this morning he looks exceptionally dapper.
Me: Wow! You look very smart.
(I would like to stress that I rarely use the word ‘wow’ in a non-ironic sense. This was an exception.)
He shrugs and busies himself with something that doesn’t involve him being made to feel self-conscious in front of his Father.
We’re off on an Outing, but as I have explained to both of them, I need to quickly drop into my office for half an hour to Do Some Things because I’m the sort of cretin who can’t organize some simple time off without leaving things to do.
Less than an hour later we’re in my place of work. Favourite Son charms all around him without even trying, Favourite Daughter busies herself with doing my job better than me despite not having the slightest idea what I do for a living.
Favourite Daughter: [Looking up from her ‘work’] What are those?
Me: Um. Sweets.
FD: Who’s been eating them?
Me: Not me.
FD: Who then? Can I have one?
Me: No. You’ve not had lunch and you’ve had enough sugar. And I don’t know. Have a look around and see who you think looks like the sort of person that would steal my sweets.
Her eyes immediately flick at Blonde Colleague and dart away again. She shrugs.
Me: For what it’s worth I think you’re right.
I complete my ‘should have been done already’ tasks and we leave once I drag Favourite Son away from his new female admirers.
As we leave –
Favourite Son: Daddy?
FD: You have to be smart for work don’t you?
Me: ….. Oh. Yes.
As we head toward the local science center I now realize why he made such the effort - with his smartest pants, best shirt and co-ordinated ‘tank-top’ or whatever they’re called this year - earlier that morning.
His four-year old brain knew that we were ‘going to work’. I remember now that he said as much himself the night before as I outlined our activities for the day. I know now that he was probably more concerned about that than anything else.
And that he wanted to make the right impression. Perhaps for himself but maybe for his father as well.