Get thee to a nunnery

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Mum I wouldn’t be able to do this puzzle if a whale was here” – Celeste Sylvie Campbell Anderson.

Your dad once told me that if we goggled hard enough, we must be able to find a special school for girls with misleading first names and after today my fingers are hard and dry tapping, trying to find it.

Today your teachers came to our house as, for reasons unbeknownst to me, they worried you might be shy about settling into your new school. They needn’t have worried. You took off your pants, farted and blamed the teaching assistant for the smell you had created. I should have been cross but I experienced the same level of pride as I had when our friend asked you: “Why are you so wild, where did you find your wild?” To this you replied: “ I walked ninety nine miles to find my wild, I found it under a poo and I am never, ever putting it back!”

Really I’m proud because I know wherever Daddy is he is proud too. He’d be so proud that you are 99% Anderson and 1% Cassidy. You look like your dad, dance like him, eat like him,smile like him, you even yawn like him. We took you on holiday to the South of France with Tim and Cinders, Tish, Julia and the boys. Tim says you even do a weird thing with your fingers before you jump into a pool that your dad used to; I sometimes forget that the boys have twenty years of Dad up on me. He’d really just be proud that ‘You are all kinds of Awesome’ as the poster in your bedroom says.

I found you to be most awesome a few weeks after Daddy died, it was a Saturday and you asked me if it was the weekend or a school day. I told you it was the weekend and so you ascertained that we must therefore be having pancakes because in your mind this ought to still happen even though Daddy was not here. When I cried and told you that’s what Daddy used to do, you said “That’s alright, you can do them, you just need eggs.” So I stood at the hob alone, tears rushing off my face with the recipe on the iPad. Then you said “Just remember, Daddy always says the first one is for the bin.”  After that you actually uttered the following words, and I must write them here as testimony otherwise I will never believe it in years to come, and all before your  third birthday, you said : ” Mummy I know you’re scared but you can do it’ You then climbed up on the table and chanted, “you can do it, you can do it, go Mummy, go Mummy”, like my very own cheerleader. Then you gobbled them all up and said “Mummy I’m so proud of you”; this actually happened. You carry my heart.


When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said that if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different.

– Cormac Mc Carthy, The Road.

For Shannon.

One thought on “Get thee to a nunnery

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