From whatever corner of the house she is in, whatever she is doing, she sprints to me when i enter the house.

Literally. Like a baby Bolt. Sprints to me till in one swoop motion i lift her and throw her in the air and catch her.

It’s the only consistently filmy thing in my day.

Always. Unless she is sick or sleeping. Whether i have had a lovely day or fucked up, whether i am smiling or brooding or indifferent or plain tired. Whether it is 11 am or 11 pm, whether she is crying or fighting when i enter.

In case i enter without shouting out her name – i have to go out of the house and ring the bell again – or she will wail at the top of her voice. Maybe she knows that the sprint is my ticket, the dose i need to shed my work face and put on my home face. As she wrote, make up is tougher than indifference – maybe it expects something of us that we might reluctantly have to be. The affection of a child is a question posed to us everyday, a gauntlet thrown at us. Whether we are capable of picking it up or not determines who we are.

Maybe that’s the key. Affection. Not prickly love, just a warm fuzzy undemanding response to things without wondering. I wrote once earlier that don’t be nice. If you have to fake something, fake enthusiasm.

Maybe affection is another thing worth faking when you deal with the wider world outside the arms of your kid. Because it is only the first moment you have to. Then you become it. It becomes you.

Enthusiasm and affection. That’s all you need.

 

 

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