I’m roughly four hundred miles from my own home. It doesn’t seem a long way to come in order to push them on the swings. I don’t see them as often as I would like.
We cross the road and enter the safe environs of the park. There are ducks, swans, trees and all the other things one associates with a decent park. Favourite Daughter immediately runs off chasing after squirrels. Favourite Son and I walk together for a little while.
God, he must feel awkward, I think to myself. He’s six now. What if he sees someone he knows? It’s not like he’s a little boy anymore. He’d be dreadfully embarrassed to be seen holding the hand of some bloke.
Me: Son? We’re nowhere near the road now. You don’t have to hold my hand anymore.
I have to accept that he’s growing-up.
Favourite Son: [Distracted, watching his hare-brained elder sister fruitlessly attempt to gain an audience with a squirrel] Mmm? I know. I want to.
It’s only four hundred miles. It’s not far at all.
I squeeze his hand a bit tighter – just for a second – and we walk along together.