Conversations in the back of the car
DD’s friend brought her back a present from her summer holidays. It was a model of the Statue of Liberty. She didn’t get that in Hamleys, I thought.
“Did you go to new York?” I asked, as DD stroked the model lovingly – it was from Best Friend (BF), after all.
“Yes,” she said. “I went to that big toy shop,” she said. “The one that was in the Smurfs movie.”
“Wow,” I said, thinking of our own tiny cottage in the New Forest. “What was your favourite bit of the holiday?” (I love asking kids this question – you get the most surprising answers).
“Hmm,” she said, thoughtfully. “Niagara Falls. Going in the boat. They gave us jackets, but I still got really wet!”
“You went to Canada, too?” I was just checking.
“Yep. Toronto. And Vancouver. Lake Louise – we saw black bears there. Whistler.”
“Wow,” I said, impressed that she could remember the names. The girl is only six years old!
“Oh. And Italy,” she added. Then she remembered DD sitting next to her in the back. “What did you do this summer?” she asked.
It was the sort of moment every mum dreads. Had I not offered enough of a “wow” factor for my children this summer? No Icelandic cruise, no Disneyworld, no climbing of the pyramids, no private jet?
There was a pause.
“I went on a roller-coaster,” said DD finally, injecting as much “wow” factor into her voice as a human being possibly could. Without looking, I knew she was raising her eyebrows to communicate the massive excitement her friend should feel, along with a hopeful smile.
I really felt for DD. New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Whistler, Lake Louise and the Amalfi Coast, and all she could offer was a kids’ rollercoaster at Paulton’s Park.
“Wow,” said BF. “I’ve never been on a rollercoaster.”