Monday, November 14, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

From the time she got her crawling and walking in gear, and the time she could form all the wonder in her mind into words, Grace has toddled down the hallway when I arrive home for a visit, and she has looked at my machine.

She has seen much - as all kids do nowadays - since she was born in a millennium and a decade with more zeros than sense. She knows how to use a mobile phone and a DVD player and an ipod and her favourite toy for a long time was her Peppa Pig laptop.

But this machine was different to her, entirely mysterious, if only for the fact that as far as she was concerned, I was the only person in the whole world who had one.

And when you're 2 years old, you think you want everything that everyone else has.

She has always questioned, and I have tried to frame all of my illness into a simple answer, using the language of a children's television presenter.

I've never been certain that she understood.

But on Saturday, when I planted my machine down as normal, she didn't ask anything. She gave me all the answers.

"That's your machine, Gina. It'll make you feel better, cos you're sick".

Ya. That got me.

I often find it is when other people speak about my situation that I get most upset. My life is what it is, and I live it, but when it is a story to be told by others who love me, I see it all through their eyes and it breaks my heart.

But hearing Grace say it. Well, that was worse somehow. Maybe because I have always liked to think she was one of the few who looked at me like I wasn't ill, like I was whole.

Now she knows too.


  1. Finally got to listen to the documentary on Sunday. You did good.

  2. Thanks Radge. All seemed to enjoy it. If 'enjoy' is the right word.