The other day, My Girl was adding her colourful markings to our bath with her new bath crayons (thanks to a couple of twitter friends for alerting me to the absolute mess these can make when used away from the tub - especially by someone as inventive/invented as Hilary - never fear, they are outta reach when not being used in the proper manner) and she asked me to write her name, then my name, then the names of those close to her. Like this:
She was the brains behind this, her own Family Tree, I was simply the executor following orders. A few details, however, grabbed my attention:
- Her second Grandad, who she calls Grampa, made it onto her bath list of important people, right down there at the bottom. He is also invisible. But 'My Other Mummy' - yes, the imaginary one - wasn't important enough to make the Tree, which lifts my heart. 'My Other Mummy' has a PINK computer and PINK toilet roll and My Girl sometimes prefers that Mummy's company to this one's. No words of comfort, please: I'm SO over it!
- Her cousin, Joel, has been pushed right over to one side of the Tree (the left hand side) - he's the same age as her and they only see each other every couple of months or so because my brother and his family live in the East Midlands. They play together and they fight: he's the only person who seemingly lashes out on her for no reason - though I'm sure he does have his reasons and, underneath, she is fully aware of what these are and pushes all the right buttons. Anyway, in this Bath Life, he is somewhat alienated from the rest of her loving family!
- Hilary is, or was, there - you can no longer see Him because His name has been nigh on erased due to the pure practicalities of having to use the bath to wash off all that Weston Woods' mud from her delightful little body most every day. He had pride of place above everyone else on the very top of the bath, the ledge if you like. He is Overseer, He is God, He is her sub-conscious ....? Sexy Older Man pointed out that Hilary could well represent My Girl's absent Father and I was shocked to realise that this had never even occurred to me, that her innocent invisible friend is a substitute for someone deeply important to her whom she has never met. Am I in denial? Am I deluding myself that she is OK just with me? Am I failing her? Is she being deprived of something that not I nor anyone else except that one person can give her?
And how long will we need Hilary for?